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.


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 – Bernard Diaper

Bernard has served on the BDI board initially as an Insurance adviser since 1992 and was President for 8 years before being appointed Claims Manager in 2004. He became interested in beekeeping as a young boy working with his father and grandfather and has subsequently kept bees since 1961. He has 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 now retired as a Mechanical Engineer and Insurance Claims Manager by profession.


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.

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 8 years as a Trustee of the BBKA. He is a Trustee of the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association (BIBBA) and is Lecture Convenor for the National Honey Show.

Roger started keeping bees 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 collie, Nell. 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.

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 Beecraft, 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.

DIRECTOR - 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.


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.


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.


DIRECTOR - Anne Pike


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 – Jim Vivian-Griffiths

Jim was appointed to the BDI board in September 2020. He has kept bees for around 20 years. He is a Master Beekeeper and was awarded the Wax Chandlers prize in 2015. Based in Gloucestershire, he gives a wide range of beekeeping talks at conferences in the UK & Ireland

Prior to retirement, Jim was trained and worked as a Chartered Accountant within industry.



Obituary: Dinah Sweet

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. Dinah 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 will be warmly remembered by so many beekeepers as a positive person always willing to share her knowledge and encourage others. She was lovely person who will be sadly missed.

Dinah Sweet died at home on 30 March 2020.

John said she did not want a funeral and that was going to be difficult anyway with the Covid pandemic restrictions that had just been announced. So, John planned a celebration, an idea that Dinah was happy with; it was to be garden party for when the pandemic would be over. A year later and a meeting together to celebrate Dinah’s life is still not possible.

So, John has decided to go with a Celebratory Website and has just set up dinahsweet.com John would be delighted if those of you who knew Dinah, could post any photos or comments on this website.

One of Dinah’s last pieces of work was completing the BBKA Special Issue, Practical Mead Making, available here.