IBRA Trustees

Prof. Keith Delaplane
University of Georgia, USA

Keith Delaplane was Senior Editor of the Journal of Apicultural Research between 2003 and 2007.

He oversees honey bee research, instruction, and outreach at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences. He is a frequent lecturer on behalf of bee science across the English-speaking world. In 2014 he was recognized by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as an honorary Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his research and outreach efforts in the United Kingdom.

Google Scholar

University of Georgia website

Dr Ivor Davis
Avon, UK

A physicist by training, Ivor Davis runs an IT consultancy company. 

A beekeeper for over 20 years, he runs about 18 colonies of bees and has held various positions in his local Avon Beekeepers Association, but has also been Chairman and President of the British Beekeepers Association. 

In the BBKA, he was involved in the campaign for government funding for bee research, which involved close contact with politicians at all levels, other decision makers and the media. He was also involved in steering through the revised BBKA Constitution to bring the organisation in to the 21st century, as well as the setting up of BBKA Enterprises Ltd, a trading company separate from the main Charity.

He instituted the BBKA Members Register, maintained by his wife Jan, and wrote the original software for the register database. He is a member of the BBKA Examinations Board and is currently project manager of the BBKA education programme, including the “Course in a Case” and short course modules in conjunction with the Fera Healthy Bees Plan and the National Diploma in Beekeeping Board, of which he is currently Chairman.

Dr Martin Kunz
London, UK

Martin manages social media for IBRA.

Dr Mervyn Eddie 
Northern Ireland, UK

Mervyn Eddie joined IBRA Council in 2011, and is currently Trustee with responsibility for Human Resources and the Bookshop.

Mervyn Eddie PhD, BAgr. (both degrees from Queen’s University Belfast, in 1969 & 1966). Mervyn retired in 2000 from senior management in various operating companies within the Unilever Group. Pig nutrition research scientist in Department of Agriculture Northern Ireland, 1970-74. Pig nutritionist with Unilever (BOCM Silcock, Europe’s largest animal feed company) 1974-78. Area Managing Director, BOCM Silcock 1978-85, initially Dyfed and later East Anglia. Chairman, Marine Harvest (world’s largest salmon farming operation, Scotland & Chile) 1985-88. Chairman, Pamol Plantations, Malaysia (26000 ha oil palm plantation, plus prawn farms) 1988-92. Vice President, DiverseyLever, Netherlands (world’s 2nd largest industrial hygiene & detergents business) 1992-98. Cabinet Office, Whitehall (led UK national infrastructure audit of millennium-bug readiness) 1998-2000. For this role, was seconded by Unilever plc as part of their contribution to national readiness. 

Mervyn began small-scale beekeeping as a boy, and after his international career, restarted in 2001. Now he tries to combine his biological research training, small-scale beekeeping and experience in management to help improve the future of bees and beekeeping. He was Chairman of Dromore BKA 2003-6, Chairman of Ulster BKA 2006-9 and President of Ulster BKA 2009-11. Between 2010 and 2012 he was Chairman of The Council of National Beekeeping Associations (BBKA, SBKA, WBKA, UBKA, FIBKA and BFA) actively involved on behalf of all beekeepers in UK and Ireland in EU beekeeping legislation and regulation issues.

Prof. Jamie Ellis
University of Florida, USA

Jamie Ellis co-edited the Special Issue of the Journal of Apicultural Research on the small hive beetle in 2008, and is one of the editors of the COLOSS BEEBOOK.

Jamie is the Gahan Endowed Associate Professor of Entomology in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of Florida. He has a BS degree in Biology from the University of Georgia (Georgia, USA) and a PhD in Entomology from Rhodes University in South Africa. At the University of Florida, Jamie has responsibilities in extension, instruction and research. Regarding his extension work, Jamie created the AFBEE program (African Bee Extension and Education Program), the UF, South Florida, and Caribbean Bee Colleges, and the UF Master Beekeeper Program. As an instructor, Jamie supervises PhD and masters students in addition to offering an online beekeeping course. Currently, Jamie and his team have over 30 active research projects in the fields of honey bee husbandry, conservation and ecology, and integrated crop pollination. Jamie is a member of the COLOSS Executive Committee. 

University of Florida website



Dr Jay Evans
United States Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, USA

Jay Evans was an Associate Editor of the Journal of Apicultural Research between 2008 and 2014.

Jay grew up in Seattle, Washington, USA, as an avid naturalist and went on to Princeton University and the University of Utah for AB. and PhD degrees, respectively, in Biology. After connecting with bees during a brief project on queen production at the University of Arizona, he signed on as a Research Scientist with the USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, where he has been for 15 years. His projects use genetic analyses for bees and their major pests in order to improve bee breeding and management against disease. Jay was an early proponent of the Honey Bee Genome Project and helped recruit and organise scientists interested in applied genomics for bees. He has improved and applied genetic tests for biotic and chemical causes of bee declines and is now heading a consortium to sequence the genome of the varroa mite in order to enable novel control methods for this key pest. He is grateful to the beekeepers and colleagues who have inspired him to seek ways to have more impact with his work. Jay lives just out of reach from Washington, DC with his family, twelve sheep, two goats and two bee hives (down from four).

Prof. Dirk de Graaf
University of Ghent, Belgium

Dr Fani Hatjina

Hellenic Agriculture Org. “DEMETER”, Greece

The four years in Cardiff University for her PhD studies (1991-1994) brought Fani close to IBRA and its staff. IBRA’s headquarters became her second home in Cardiff, given that she was spending much of her studying time there. That is how she came to know and follow IBRA’s activities as an international library, publishing house, conference organising organisation and promoter of apiculture knowledge and practice also in developing countries. The best experience though, was meeting Dr Eva Crane and a visit to her house some years later. The strong personality, the demanding conversations and her curiosity as well as her knowledge on the historical findings from Ancient Greece, are unforgettable. It was the same period, that Fani also had the opportunity to visit Buckfast Abbey and Brother Adam as part of an educational trip organised during the Diploma Course at Cardiff University. 

As an Associate Editor of the Journal of Apicultural Research since 2006, and a close collaborator of IBRA, Fani is trying to give a helping hand with its activities, and especially to increase scientists’ awareness for IBRA’s work, to take JAR and Bee World one step ahead, and to improve the dissemination of knowledge between scientists and beekeepers. 

Hellenic Institute of Apiculture website

Prof. William D J Kirk
Keele University, UK

William Kirk joined IBRA in 1988 and was elected to IBRA Council in 1993. After some time learning the ropes, he served as Vice-Chairman from 2000-2004 and Chairman from 2004-2009. He wrote the books “A colour guide to the pollen loads of the honey bee” and “Plants for bees”, both published by IBRA. He received the IBRA Award in 2013.

William is a professor of applied entomology at Keele University. He has been a beekeeper for over 20 years, but his interest in bees extends to all bees, including bumble bees and solitary bees. His bee research has included foraging behaviour and bee viruses. He supervises undergraduate students and PhD students working on topics that include foraging behaviour, pesticide residues in bee hives and feeding stimulants for honey bees. He has also served as Chairman and President of his local beekeeping association, the North Staffordshire Beekeepers Association.

Keele University website

Hans Kjaersgaard
Berkshire, UK

Hans Kjaersgaard was IBRA Chairman between 2010 and 2014. He became Company Secretary in 2016.

Hans was born and grew up in Denmark. He moved to England in the mid 1970s and  started a career in international business. Part of his responsibilities in one of his first jobs was to represent Eastern European state exporters, and one of these sold Acacia and other honey. As he knew little about honey, he looked for an organisation that had knowledge and came across IBRA. On his first visit to IBRA at Hill House he met Dr Eva Crane who was very helpful and enthusiastic. Armed with books from the IBRA library, he set about trying to equip himself with sufficient knowledge. When Eva retired, her successor, Margaret Adey suggested that Hans should join IBRA council as someone with a business background. In the following years Hans was one of only a handful of people who traded honey internationally, which took him to beekeepers and cooperatives in many countries. Whilst he was also trading other food commodities (e.g. tomato paste, fruit juices, tea etc.) honey remained his favourite and during this time he became familiar with all the major honey producing countries in the world and also some smaller countries with highly specialised honey. During that time Hans was regularly in contact with Eva Crane and involved whenever there were commercial aspects of honey on her horizon. Before retiring Hans was International Sales Manager at a subsidiary of McCormick (the world’s largest spice company) and then moved to The Netherlands to work for International Flavours and Fragrances which is one of the largest companies in its field.  At IFF he was responsible for flavour sales in the Middle East and later managed Project Teams and Agents/Distributors in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Throughout his working life Hans has enjoyed meeting people from all over the world. Whenever he has had a chance he has sampled the local honey and this resulted in some very interesting experiences in exotic places like Yemen, Guatemala, Sri Lanka. Now back in England and retired, Hans does a little consultancy, spends time with his family, does some voluntary work, and living in Windsor can easily pursue his interest in history.  

Prof. Stephen Martin
University of Salford, UK

Stephen Martin spent seven years researching hornets in Japan, seven years working on varroa at the National Bee Unit, then a period at the University of Sheffield, before taking up a chair at the University of Salford. Currently he heads a small team of researchers studying interactions between varroa, its honey bee host and viral pathogens, with study sites across the world. His other area of study is the chemical recognition communication systems in ants, bees and mites. He has written over 150 scientific publications. He was Guest Editor of the IBRA publication “Apicultural research on varroa” (2007). In his spare time he runs over mountains and deserts, and climbs rock and ice. 

Google Scholar

University of Salford website

Prof. Robert Paxton
University of Halle, Germany

After graduating from Sussex University, with a BSc in Biological Sciences and a PhD in the evolutionary ecology of wasps, Robert moved to Cardiff University in 1985 to work on bee biology and to teach on the newly founded Diploma in Apiculture. Under the tutelage of Professors Robert Pickard and John Free, he could not have had a better introduction to the honey bee, its biology and management. Robert was simultaneously introduced to IBRA, which had just moved headquarters to Cardiff. Of course he immediately joined. IBRA’s ever-welcoming staff and excellent library were to become indispensable for his research and for that of the Diploma in Apiculture students. In 1990, when IBRA was under the direction of Andrew Matheson, he even had the honour to be invited onto Council of IBRA, a role he readily accepted. In 1993 Robert transferred to Uppsala University (Sweden) as a visiting postdoctoral researcher (as an EU Madame Curie Fellow) to develop his interests in population genetics with Professor Pekka Pamilo. Then in 1996 he moved to the University of Tübingen (Germany) to focus on social evolution in sweat bees. In 2003 he returned to the UK to take up a lectureship at Queen’s University Belfast, where he and his group worked on social evolution, insect conservation, pollination and bee diseases. After a year (2009-10) at Cornell University, USA in the lab of Prof. Bryan Danforth, renowned for his work on sweat bee phylogenies, in August 2010 Robert moved back to Germany to the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg to take up the Chair in General Zoology in the Institute for Biology, where he collaborates closely with the neighbouring group of honey bee population geneticist Prof. Robin Moritz. His group at Halle continues with its four research themes of social evolution, insect conservation, pollination and honey bee diseases. Robert also holds an honorary position at Queen’s University Belfast, from where he coordinated one of the BBSRC’s (UK government’s) Insect Pollinators Initiative projects on ‘Emergent Diseases’ of bees, a project run in collaboration with Dr Juliet Osborne (University of Exeter) and Prof. Mark Brown (Royal Holloway University of London). 

Throughout these peregrinations Robert has remained on IBRA Council, now though as an overseas member and therefore with less day-to-day contact. IBRA nevertheless maintains an important and cherished place in his research outlook, both as a source of knowledge and as a voice to the rest of the scientific community and the general public on all matters bee. 

University of Halle website

Prof. Robert Pickard

National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, UK

Robert Pickard provides scientific advice for the communications media and a wide range of institutions. As Chair of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management, he reported to the Minister for Energy in Westminster and the Ministers for the Environment in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. He is Emeritus Professor of Neurobiology at the University of Cardiff; Visiting Professor at the Royal Agricultural University; a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and the Royal Society of Medicine; and a Trustee of the National Museum of Wales. Much of his work has been involved with protecting consumers, the food chain and the wider environment. In 1977, he founded the Bee Research Unit at Cardiff University, which attracted students from over fifty different countries around the world. He was first elected to IBRA Council in 1983 and was Senior Editor of the Journal of Apicultural Research from 1986-1990. His first paper on the honey bee brain, which led to the filing of three patents, was published in 1976 and the brain atlas was illustrated at the Nagoya Apimondia in 1986. The first MRI scans were achieved in 1997. He is currently President of the Cardiff Beekeepers Association and the UK Central Association of Bee-Keepers. He was described in Bee World as “an original research scientist and a gifted teacher” and his public lectures on energy, environment, agriculture, honey bees, nutrition, brains, social evolution  and Shakespeare have been popular throughout the world, from North America to New Zealand. He is currently Chairman of IBRA Council.