BDI Directors

PRESIDENT - Martin Smith

Martin was appointed President in March 2013, has kept bees for 30 years in Lancashire. He is currently a Director of Communications for the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA), having also been a trustee of the BBKA for seven years, during which time he served as both Chairman and President.

A Chartered Accountant by training, he is Managing Director of a family woodworking machinery business and has extensive commercial experience.

VICE PRESIDENT - Roger Patterson

Roger was appointed to the BDI board in April 2006 and is BDI vice-President. He had a full term of eight years as a Trustee of the BBKA. He is President of the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association (BIBBA) and arranges lectures for the National Honey Show and the Central Association.

Roger started beekeeping in 1963 and is Life President, apiary manager and a demonstrator at his local BKA. He lectures and demonstrates widely on practical beekeeping topics and is usually accompanied by his well-known border collies, Nell and Rosie. He is a prolific writer for beekeeping magazines and author of books and booklets.

Born and brought up on a farm in West Sussex and an engineer by trade, Roger ran his own engineering company for 25 years, but is now retired. He owns and runs Dave Cushman's website, which is considered to be the world's most comprehensive beekeeping website.

COMPANY SECRETARY – Donald Robertson-Adams

Donald was appointed Secretary in April 2009. He started beekeeping in 2009 and is still learning the ropes. He is  currently Secretary of Teifiside BKA in West Wales where he also mows the apiary grass.

He is now retired but worked as a Chartered Accountant in Zambia and Bahrain for many years in the profession and national government before ending his days at an insurance company in Shropshire.

TREASURER – Sharon Blake

Sharon was appointed BDI Treasurer in 2000. She has kept bees for 29 years mainly in Somerset where she is a vice president and a past treasurer. She normally has twenty colonies but in recent years EFB has been a problem in Somerset. She was the BBKA Spring Convention Treasurer and is perhaps better known as the editor of BBKA News.

She worked in many roles in her career with Marks and Spencer where her final job was as a Regional Finance Manager. 

CLAIMS MANAGER - Alex Mattelaer

Alex was appointed to the BDI board in March 2013. He is a member of Hastings & Rother (Sussex) BKA, is  the Accounts Examiner for Sussex BKA and has kept bees since 1979.

A business process and technology specialist by trade, Alex has extensive experience in the development of systems in the insurance industry, and has worked for many years abroad. He is also a Trustee and Treasurer of the charity Equitable Water.

DIRECTOR - John Hendrie 

John was appointed to the BDI board in April 1985. He has kept bees for about 50 years and is a Master Beekeeper. 

He is Company Secretary of Bee Craft,  a BBKA trustee and a member of the BBKA Examinations Board.  He is the General Secretary of the National Honey Show and have been on the committee for 35 years and helped with the organisation of the honey show for that time.

He does a lot of lecturing at bee conferences and associations in the UK and Ireland. 

He is a retired chemist and worked for the Environment Agency as a Laboratory Manager then Data Manager until retirement. 

M Oakley

DIRECTOR – Mark Oakley

Mark was appointed to the BDI board in March 2016. He has kept bees for a number of years and is responsible for the BBKA, Lancashire and Ormskirk Beekeeping websites.  

He has recently retired from working in the field of IT security including at a major high street bank. Mark provides BDI with computer experience in general and IT security experience in particular.

John Pearce

DIRECTOR – John Pearce

John was appointed to the BDI board in March 2013. He has been involved with the Insurance needs of Beekeepers for over 15 years

He worked for a number of Insurance Brokers before setting up his own insurance brokerage business in 1999. He is a past President of his Rotary Club and Vice Chairman of his local Parish Council.


Anne was appointed to the BDI board in September 2020. She has kept bees for 15 years in Somerset where she is an active member of the county’s BKA and is involved in running online lectures and education (post covid-19), publicity and is a past chairman.

She is a journalist, former BBC news producer and has run her own marketing and PR business for 30 years. She is BeeCraft’s digital communications manager.

DIRECTOR -  Sean Stephenson

Appointed non-executive Director in 2022, a Master beekeeper, Chairman of Buckinghamshire BKA and a member of the BBKA Exam Board.

Sean is a retired Company Director, having run his own IT businesses since the late 1980s. Before joining BDI, Sean was involved with the EXA project and the implementation of the BBKA online exam system.

RESIGNED – Bernard Diaper

Bernard served BDI for 30 years.

Initially he joined the Board an insurance adviser, became President for eight years and was appointed Claims Manager from 2004 - 2021. 

His very many achievements on behalf of beekeepers in England and Wales included championing BDI support for research projects and, most recently, the whole apiary shook swarm pilot.

Bernard became interested in beekeeping as a young boy working with his father and grandfather and has subsequently kept bees since 1961. 

He served on the National Honey Show Executive for over 20 years and holds the Senior National Honey Judges Certificate. He is currently Life Vice President and Custodian Trustee of Warwickshire BKA having held the positions of Chairman and President.

He is a retired Mechanical Engineer and Insurance Claims Manager.

OBITUARY - Dinah Sweet, BDI Director and Cardiff BKA member 

As an experienced Master Beekeeper, Dinah willingly passed on her skills and wrote many articles helping beekeepers advance their knowledge. 

She was a well-known and appreciated Seasonal Bee Inspector in South Wales, where she lived with her husband, John.

Dinah ran workshops at the BBKA Spring Convention encouraging exhibitors at all levels and giving helpful tips on how to improve. As a Honey Judge she gave willingly of her time at the National Honey Show and inspired others with her exhibits. 

She also worked with Bees for Development delivering workshops in Trinidad for Honey Judges and was the author of many articles in BBKA News and of the Special Issue, Practical Mead Making. 

She also found time to be a director of Bee Diseases Insurance Ltd. 

Dinah Sweet died at home on 30 March, 2020.