Since the formation of the National Diploma in Beekeeping Board in 1954, a total of 90 Diplomas have been awarded.
Tony Harris, Adam Leitch, Margaret Murdin, and Alastair Welch became the latest NDB holders following the 2015 assessment.
The following beekeepers have been awarded the National Diploma in Beekeeping:
Miss E. Avey
Brig. H. Bell
Mrs. Rosina Clark
S. J. Cox
Alec S.C. Deans
W.E. (Ted) Hooper
C. F. Jesson
Dr. F.G. Smith
Dr David Aston BSc., MSc., PhD., NDB
Daniel Basterfield NDB
Daniel grew up with beekeeping around him, earning pocket money by clipping and marking queens. Having spent 15 years working in large companies, he returned to the family beekeeping business in Devon, expanding the business and building a brand new Honey Farm raising queens and selling honey. Dan holds his BBKA Master Beekeepers and Microscopy certificate. He is an active member of the Bee Farmers Association, and a Trustee of the International Bee Research Association (IBRA) as well as Vice-Chairman of the NDB Examinations board. Back to Top
Ken Basterfield B.Sc.(Hons), C.Eng, MIET, NDB
Ken was first introduced to bees at 6 years old, but began beekeeping upon graduating in 1971. He increased in numbers until running 150 colonies by 1979, running these as a semi-commercial outfit in parallel with his day job. Ken took his BBKA Preliminary, Intermediate, Senior, and Senior Practical certificates, before obtaining his National Diploma in Beekeeping (NDB) in 1996. During that time, he completed a wide range of beekeeping including stock selection and breeding from the best locally-adapted performers & extensive queen raising. Ken has tried out most of the management techniques on large scale trials leading to ‘best fit’ tools and techniques for his own beekeeping environment. His son Daniel returned to continue the beekeeping business in 2005. Ken is a member of Devon BKA, and has held positions as Apiary Manager, County Show Chairman, Bee Farmers Association, a founder member of the Devon Apicultural Research Group (DARG), 1979, Examiner for BBKA Basic, General & Advanced Husbandry and for National Diploma in Beekeeping candidates. He is a member of the BBKA Examination board, a BBKA Trustee and a member of the NDB board since 1998. Ken is currently the NDB course director and the NDB representative to the FERA/DEFRA Healthy Bees Plan. Back to Top
Dr. Bridget Beattie
Dr. Bridget Beattie is a founder author of the NDB short courses. She holds the Robert Hammond and Wax Chandlers’ prizes for best performances in the BBKA examinations and gained the National Diploma in Beekeeping in 2008.
She first began beekeeping in 1979 with Kenya Top Bar hives while working in Montserrat in the West Indies.
She now lives in France where she teaches beekeeping and has established a local beekeeping association of which she is apiary manager, as well as being a member of the committee of her French department’s bee health organisation.
Bridget writes regularly for the British bee press, including writing the Plant of the Month, and the monthly beginners articles for Beecraft and is committed to beekeeping education and protection of the environment. Bridget is an examiner for the BBKA. She has a PhD in mathematical software. Back to Top
Norman L. Carreck BSc CBiol FRSB FRES NDB
Norman Carreck has been keeping bees since the age of 15. He read Agricultural Science at Nottingham University and joined Rothamsted Research in 1987 as an agronomist working on nutrient uptake in cereal crops. Between 1991 and 2006 he was apiculturalist in the Plant and Invertebrate Ecology Division, with responsibility for maintaining about 80 colonies of honey bees. He was also fully involved in the two research groups, on pollination ecology with Prof. Ingrid Williams and Dr Juliet Osborne; and bee pathology with Brenda Ball. He obtained the National Diploma in Beekeeping in 1996, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society in 2004, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology in 2011. He is a member of the Technical and Environmental Committee of the British Beekeepers Association, a Trustee of the C.B. Dennis British Beekeepers Research Trust, a member of the Examinations Board for the National Diploma in Beekeeping, a member of the “Bee Health Advisory Forum” for the Defra “Healthy Bees Plan”, the UK member of the Executive Committee of the international honey bee research network “COLOSS”, and is Senior Editor of the Journal of Apicultural Research. He is employed as Science Director of the International Bee Research Association and is based at the University of Sussex. Back to Top
Celia has a Degree in Agriculture, was a biology teacher and lecturer and began keeping bees in 1980. She passed all the BBKA beekeeping examinations, winning both the Robert Hammond Award and the Wax Chandlers’ Prize, before gaining her NDB in 1994. She has taught beekeeping since 1992 to a range of students from Basic level up to Advanced, has been a tutor on the BBKA Correspondence Course for many years and is an examiner at all levels up to, and including, NDB. She served for six years on the BBKA Examinations Board.
She has written many articles for various publications over the years and has authored two books: The Honey Bee Inside Out and The Honey Bee Around and About, now both in their second editions.
Celia managed fourteen hives for many years but has now reduced to six.
She lectures to many beekeeping groups throughout the British Isles and Ireland.
Dr. Ivor Davis PhD, CEng, CPhys, MIoD, MInstP, MBCS, NDB – Chairman
Dr Ivor Davis NDB is chairman of the NDB Examinations Board (NDB) and a council member of IBRA (International Bee Research Association). He is a Master Beekeeper and Past President of the BBKA and past member of the BBKA’s Examinations Board. He has kept bees (up to 25 colonies) since 1987 and has been keen to improve the education of beekeepers at local and national level. He lectures on a wide range of beekeeping matters from practical management to politics. He is a founder member of the NDB short course team and keen to hand on his knowledge and understanding of bees and beekeeping to future generations of beekeepers.
Clive de Bruyn BSc (Hons), AIM, AIM Inst.F, C.Eng NDB
Clive has kept bees since the mid-1960s, since when he has managed colonies throughout the British Isles. He has worked at the National beekeeping unit (NBU) as an ADAS advisor, being instrumental in the setting up of the NBU initial apiary and laboratories as well as training and supervising Bee Disease inspection officers. Clive assisted MAFF in the introduction of the 1980s Bees Act and the Bee Diseases Control order and has served on a number of MAFF committees. He has worked for a large UK commercial beekeeping enterprise, raising 1000 queens for sale annually in addition to those needed by the companies 2000 colonies. Clive’s first beekeeping exam was the BBKA preliminary in 1970, whilst he was a committee member of the Village Bee Breeders Association (now BIBBA). He progressed through the BBKA Intermediate and Senior (also the FIBKA Senior), and gained the National Diploma in Beekeeping in 1976. For 15 years he was the County Beekeeping Lecture at Writtle College. He was the education officer for the Bee Farmers Association (BFA) for 20 years. Currently he is a committee member & examiner for the NDB. He has worked on the BBKA Executive and was the British delegate to Apimondia for 15 years. Within the BBKA, he has been an exam board member and examiner, also serving on the Spray & Disease, Husbandry, Publicity & Marketing committees as well as Chair of the education committee. He is also on the committee of the Central Association of Beekeepers. Clive has travelled worldwide to study beekeeping (currently in excess of 30 countries). He is the author of a number of books and papers. Due to his practical knowledge combined with extensive experience of beekeeping worldwide he is a sought after lecturer. Currently he is running 100+ colonies in Essex for honey, pollination and the sale of queens and nuclei whilst undertaking overseas extension work in the winter.
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Ben Harden NDB
Ben had an East African childhood where A.m. scutellata were well respected and children were kept away from them. When settled in Ireland he started to keep bees in 1975 and as an adjunct set up a small scale wax milling facility which ran for some years. Later on the FIBKA exam system was embarked on which was the build-up for an NDB in 2000. At association level has run the beginner’s course and lectures in Ireland. He has written the little book, “Some Alternative Pathways for the Hesitant Queen Rearer”
Tony Harris NDB
Tony Harris, NDB, is a bee farmer based on the Moray coast in Scotland where he manages 150 hives for honey production. He also breeds and sells local queens and nuclei. He is an assessor for the Scottish Beekeepers Association (SBA), a Honey Judge, a BBKA Correspondence Course tutor and a regular contributor to beekeeping publications in England and Scotland. Tony is a past general secretary of the SBA, a Scottish Expert Beemaster and in 2015 attained the National Diploma in Beekeeping qualification. He gives presentations and lectures to community and beekeeping groups on all matters relating to bees, beekeeping, the environment and conservation Back to Top
Geoff Hopkinson BEM NDB
Geoff commenced his beekeeping career in 1948, gaining the old BBKA Senior in 1954 and the NDB in the early 1960’s. By that time, he had served as Secretary/Treasurer in two Associations and subsequently as a BBKA Delegate, a Senior BBKA Examiner and as a member of the BBKA Examinations Board.
Eventually, he replaced Ted Hooper as Chairman of the National Diploma in Beekeeping Board and subsequently (and currently) our President. He holds the distinction of being the longest serving contributor to the Beekeepers Quarterly and is just short of his BBKA 70 year certificate. In 2012, Geoff was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) as recognition for services to beekeeping and environmental education.
Eur. Ing. Adam Leitch CEng, MEng (Hons) MIET NDB – Webmaster
Adam Leitch NDB is a member of Reigate Beekeepers in Surrey. He passed his NDB exam in 2015, having already obtained his BBKA Master Beekeeper and Microscopy Certificate. Adam is an examiner for the BBKA (Basic & General Husbandry), a correspondence course tutor for BBKA module students, and wrote the monthly beginner articles for Beecraft throughout 2016. He teaches practical beekeeping weekly at Reigate Beekeepers club apiary at a range of levels. He gives talk to beekeeping groups on all aspects of beekeeping, including botany and anatomy, provides support to study groups and (when time allows) runs evening classes on Modules, General Husbandry & Microscopy. Adam holds a Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) teaching qualification.
Margaret Murdin NDB
Margaret currently manages 20 colonies over 3 apiaries. She is the Vice Chair of the Ormskirk and Croston branch of Lancashire and teaches courses leading to the modules for Lancashire and General Husbandry both locally and nationally.
She talks regularly at the BBKA Spring Convention, to various Associations and Branches around the country and at Gormanston. A trustee of the BBKA for the last four years and is currently Vice Chair. A member of the BBKA Exam Board, an assistant moderator and a tutor for the BBKA Correspondence Course and a trained assessor for all BBKA exams and assessments.
Previously she was the Principal of a large Further and Higher Education College, a college inspector and the Chief Examiner for teacher Education at a University.
Margaret sat on several Government Committees advising Ministers on Adult, Further and Special education. Margaret hold a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and a Masters qualification in Education. Back to Top
Margaret Thomas CSP NDB
Margaret Thomas lived in Essex where she and her husband Dick learnt their beekeeping in the 1970s under the tutelage of Ted Hooper County Beekeeping Instructor at Writtle Agricultural College. She retired to Scotland in 2009. During the time spent in Essex she passed her BBKA examinations to become a Master Beekeeper and then went on to get her NDB in 1982. She then joined the NDB tutor team for the weeks’ residential course held at the time at Sparsholt and later at York.
At Ted Hooper’s retirement she joined the group of some 12 beekeepers led by Clive deBruyn (the newly appointed CBI) discussing varying topics and culminated in a two week stay with queen rearer John Keefus in Toulouse, France. The group spent the time grafting (with adapted matchsticks), making fondant, filling mini nucs, putting them out for mating and placing mated queens in travel cages ready for the post.
During the 39 years in Essex Margaret was an active member of the Essex Beekeepers and served on the CEC as Southend Delegate, Disease, and Examinations Delegate, managed the Essex Honey (Barleylands) Show for a couple of years and was awarded Life Membership of the Essex Beekeepers in 2010.
She is one of the Moderators of the BBKA Examinations Board and also tutors for the BBKA Correspondence Course.
She is a retired Bee Farmer – the BFA that represents commercial beekeepers in UK, and during that time managed between 40 to 60 colonies. As a bee farmer she served on the committee as Magazine, Pesticides, Minutes and Pollination secretary, the latter managing placing around 1000 hives in Kent on top fruit, some hives on borage and oil seed rape north of the Thames. Representing the BFA she joined a research group as the beekeeper providing the colonies for a project on pyrrolizidine alkaloids in ragwort and borage honey. She was awarded Life Membership of the BFA. Dick took over editing the Bee farmers Bulletin for some years.
Margaret has given lectures in a number of counties in England, Scotland, Ulster and also been guest lecturer a number of times at the weeks’ course at Gormanston just north of Dublin. She has been the weeks’ tour lecturer for Scotland twice.
She is now a committee member of the Scottish Beekeepers Association, where her brief is all subjects related to hive products. Beekeeping as an amateur with a limited number of colonies in a fickle climate is a new challenge. She continues to teach beekeeping.
She updated Ted Hoopers Guide to Bees and Honey and the Beginners Bee Book.
Several articles on practical beekeeping in BBKA News, monthly beginner articles for Bee Craft, and an article in the Veterinary Times. Margaret is currently the secretary to the NDB Board. Back to Top
Adrian Waring, NDB
Adrian trained as an English teacher, including time spent at Hull College of Further Education where one of his projects involved bees. He taught at Uttoxeter High School.
He holds the National Diploma in Beekeeping and has served on the NDB Board and been one of its examiners. He has extensive beekeeping experience and is able to give practical advice on almost any beekeeping subject. He is rarely stumped for an answer! Adrian is very interested in bee breeding. He has operated a bee improvement programme in his own bees for many years and is well aware of the problems associated with achieving and maintaining a selected strain.
He became Assistant to the North of Scotland Beekeeping Advisor, Bernhard Möbus, in 1979 and then became County Beekeeping Instructor for Northamptonshire in September 1981. Here he promoted bees in schools, giving talks to the children and placing many observation hives in schools around the county. He also ran beekeeping courses, not only for beginners but also for those wishing to take the British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) Intermediate and Senior examinations and to study advanced techniques such as colony selection and queen rearing.
In Northamptonshire, Adrian was active in promoting beekeeping at local events both with the Northamptonshire College of Agriculture and the Northamptonshire Beekeepers’ Association, where he served on the management committee.
He retired from the post of County Beekeeping Instructor in December 1990. In 1992–1994, he was Bee Diseases Officer for Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, inspecting colonies for notifiable bee diseases and taking part in the initial searches for varroa in the UK.
Adrian served the BBKA at a senior level from the early 1980s, with over 12 years service on the Executive Committee. He was a member of the Bee Husbandry, Education, and Technical Committees. He was a member, and served as Chairman, of the BBKA Examinations Board.
Appointed BBKA General Secretary in November 1994, Adrian held this post until December 1999. He was actively involved in promoting bees and beekeeping in the press and on radio programmes, such as Farming Today and The Today Programme. He appeared with the late Geoff Hamilton on Gardeners’ World encouraging people to keep bees in their gardens and provide suitable forage for bees and other beneficial insects. He also took part in beekeeping programmes on Channel 4 and even won a trip to see beekeeping in Thailand on the ITV quiz show, Busman’s Holiday.
His close contact with the National Bee Unit encouraged communication and co-operation between the two organisations, particularly when varroa was first discovered in the UK. Adrian represented BBKA in contacts with government and assisted in the preparation of the submission to a House of Lords’ Committee seeking support for beekeeping in the UK.
While BBKA General Secretary, Adrian served as Chief Steward of Beekeeping at the Royal Show and headed the organising committee. He was also actively involved in the BBKA presence at shows such as Gardeners’ World Live, the BBKA Spring Convention and the National Honey Show.
On completion of his term as General Secretary, he was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the BBKA.
He is the author of Better Beginnings for Beekeepers and Get Started in Beekeeping and co-author, with his wife Claire, of The Haynes Bee Manual. Back to Top
Beekeeping Qualifications and Experience
Adrian holds the National Diploma in Beekeeping (NDB), the highest beekeeping award in the UK. He has served on the NDB Board and acted as one of its examiners. He also holds all the BBKA examinations (Preliminary, Intermediate and Senior) and the UK Certificate in Beekeeping. He has extensive beekeeping experience gained over nearly 50 years and, as one of the UK’s leading and widely known beekeepers, he is able to give practical advice on almost any beekeeping subject. He is rarely stumped for an answer! He keeps 20–30 colonies of bees.
Adrian is very interested in bee breeding. He has operated a bee improvement programme in his own bees for many years and is well aware of the problems associated with achieving and maintaining a selected strain. He was one of the very early members of the, then, British Isles Bee Breeders’ Association (BIBBA – now the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders’ Association) and worked closely with the Association’s founder, the late Beowulf Cooper. He was on the Committee for many years and spent some time as Secretary. He has been involved in the Association’s research projects, such as the use of an isolated mating area on Spurn Point, Yorkshire. Recently, BIBBA awarded him Honorary Life Membership in recognition of his services to the Association.
His book, Better Beginnings for Beekeepers, was published by BIBBA with a second edition being produced in 2004. He is also the joint author, with his wife Claire, of Teach Yourself Beekeeping, published in 2006 by Hodder Headline. The second edition of this popular book, Getting Started in Beekeeping, was published in March 2010. Brilliant Beekeeping was produced by the same publisher in April 2011. Adrian has written many articles which have been published in beekeeping journals, notably Bee Craft where he has authored 12 months’ advice for beginners on two occasions. Back to Top
Membership of Beekeeping Associations
Having served on the management committee and held the post of Chairman more than once, Adrian is a Past President of the Northamptonshire Beekeepers’ Association and was made a life member of the Association in 2006.
Adrian is also an honorary life member of the British Beekeepers’ Association and the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders’ Association and an ordinary member of the Central Association of Beekeepers, the National Honey Show and the International Bee Research Association.
Adrian has lectured extensively on all aspects of beekeeping and has spoken in almost every county in England. He has also lectured in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Eire, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. He has twice been invited as Senior Lecturer for the Federation of Irish Beekeeping Associations’ course at Gormanston. Back to Top
Alastair Welch NDB
Alastair has been beekeeping for more than a decade, starting out as a student at Blackhorse Apiaries before joining their teaching team. As a partnership, Alastair ran over 300 colonies and was a member of the Bee Farmers association. A member of his local association, he teaches both practical and theory classes. At National level Alastair has run workshops at the annual BBKA Spring Conventions, including “Assembling your own hive” and in 2015 one for “An introduction to the General Husbandry Assessment”. Alastair holds the Master Beekeeper and Microscopy Certificate with the BBKA for whom he is also an examiner for the Basic, General and Advanced Husbandry Assessments, as well as being an Assistant Moderator for the Examination Board. He is also a tutor for the BBKA correspondence courses and has set BBKA module theory exams. Alastair was Co-opted onto the BBKA Examamination Board in 2013 and voted on as a full member at the BBKA Annual Delegates Meeting in January 2014 for a two year term. He obtained his NDB in 2015. Back to Top
Other NDB Members
If I have missed you off, please do get in touch and I would be delighted to update your details. If you have information, or photos of any other members who are no longer with us then we would love to record the contribution of these individuals.