INIB Committee


Lyndon Wortley (Chairman)



Cecil McMullan, Tom Canning (Vice-President), Hugh Holmes, Walter McNeill, Ewen Kelsey, James Crawford, Cecil Sloan (Vice Chairman) , Natasha Geary, Christina Bradley.


Lyndon Wortley (chair), Caroline Thomson, Tom Canning, Gail Orr and Cecil Sloan


Tom Canning (chair), Hugh Holmes, Christina Bradley, Gail Orr, Jo Toland and Madeline McMullan.


Click to view profiles of serving INIB Committee members.

Lyndon Wortley was introduced to honeybees and the pleasures of the craft in May 2010. Tom Canning gave Lyndon his first Nuc of bees in July of that year and he joined the INIB that Autumn. A learning beekeeper with 30+ stocks of Native Irish Honeybees to teach him, Lyndon is intermittently studying for and sitting BBKA Modular Exams.

Lyndon served on the Executive Committee of the Native Irish Honey Bee Society for several years and acted as Convenor for Ulster. He was Public Relations Officer for Armagh and Monaghan BKA, 2014-2017.

Martha Kearney is the INIB’s new President. She is a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme and has developed a reputation as one of the BBC’s most respected political journalists.

Before joining the Today programme, she hosted The World At One (BBC Radio 4) for eleven years. She has also presented a number of documentaries on BBC 2 and BBC 4 on history, literature, nature and art. Martha has presented The Secret World of Lewis Carroll, Great Irish Journeys with Martha Kearney (BBC 4) and Jane Austen: The Unseen Portrait? (BBC 2). In the Books That Made Britain series she presented a special on East Anglia: The Scene of the Crime (BBC4)

Martha presented The Great Butterfly Adventure: Africa to Britain with the Painted Lady (BBC4), and being a keen apiarist she’s hosted The Wonder of Bees, Who Killed The Honey Bee? (BBC 4), and Hive Alive (BBC 2).

Martha began her journalistic career in radio, and worked as Lobby Correspondent for LBC/IRN, before joining Channel 4’s Week in Politics team. She has been political editor of Newsnight and presented Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour for nearly a decade. She is now a regular presenter on the Today programme (BBC Radio 4).

Martha has won the Sony Radio Bronze Award and been nominated for a BAFTA for her coverage of Northern Ireland peace process.

Media Articles:

Author of “the BAD BEEKEEPERS Club”, Bill Turnbull introduces himself to his readers with the following words:

“Hello. My name is Bill, and I’m a Bad Beekeeper. A really Bad Beekeeper. I’ve done things with bees. Terrible things. Things you wouldn’t understand unless you were a beekeeper yourself.”

Bill is however, a fantastic former INIB President. He and wife Sesi have faithfully attended almost every INIB Annual Conference and Honey Show during his tenure. On each occasion, Bill has served as an eloquent and humorous MC wearing his bespoke, patchwork waistcoat and INIB Chain-of-office with aplomb!

Outside beekeeping circles, Bill is perhaps best known for having been a presenter on Radio and for BBC Breakfast, joining the programme as a reporter in 1998. He was a presenter from 2001 to 2016. His first film for the programme was about Wild Flowers.

In 2005, Bill completed the London Marathon wearing a beekeeping suit and in the process, raised £3500.00 for the Bees for Development Trust. He completed in the third series of Strictly Come Dancing and is reputed to have told his professional dance partner, Karen Hardy, that he had an innate resistance to being told what to do. In this, Bill has much in common with honeybees ….

Tom Canning was introduced to the craft of beekeeping at the age of six, quite literally whilst in short trousers and has now amassed over 60 years beekeeping experience! A practical beekeeper with good theoretical knowledge, Tom currently manages around 15 stocks of honeybees.

Tom is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and retired Secondary School Headmaster.  He is Vice President of the INIB serving on the sub-committee for the INIB Honey Judge Examination, the sub-committee for the INIB Honey Show and the INIB Conference sub-committee.

Tom has exhibited honey to Blue Ribbon standard and has competed with success at Apimondia. He is a qualified INIB Honey Judge and has judged throughout the UK and Ireland.

When not working with honeybees (his own or someone else’s), Tom is a keen gardener. With each passing year, the number of people that Tom has turned into beekeepers continues to grow.

Gail Orr, a gentle giant of a beekeeper who decided to become a beekeeper because his father also kept bees. He got an empty hive from his dad and took it to a family friend who filled it full of bees from his apiary and that was him started!

He is happy to let other people do the talking but he takes in everything that is being said. He has listened and learned from all his fathers’ friends who kept bees and now, his own friends who have bees, learning from each and every one and then putting all he has learned into practice. It must work! His bees survive the winter year after year and live to tell the tale. Not all years have been good years, but always he has had bees.

Gail is a member of Dromore & District Beekeepers Club, becoming a committee member and then the club Treasurer for many years. He also held the position of Treasurer in the UBKA.

Gail has managed the annual INIB Honey Show since 2004, the Dromore BKA’s honey show since 2001 and has serves as Honey Show Manager for Randalstown & District BKA. He is an INIB Honey Judge and has judged for many different Bee Clubs throughout the UK, RoI, Isle of Man and Channel Islands.

Natasha is a novice beekeeper. Four years ago her husband took a beginners course in beekeeping and brought home a nuc. Eventually curiosity got the better of her regarding the new inhabitants at the bottom of the garden, so she squeezed into her eldest son’s bee suit and tagged along for a hive inspection.  She remembers being staggered by the noise of the hive on that first day. It’s an energy that can be felt. Beekeeping is now a family affair with an apiary of three hives. As a result of beekeeping Natasha is a keen pollinator advocate and is always looking for more ways to make her garden a bee haven.

It all started with an invitation of a friend to join Norman Walsh’s beekeeping course at Dromore BKA. After the Preliminary exam in May 2011 I couldn’t wait to get my first bees. Following German tradition I painted my self-built hives in different colours to avoid drifting. While attending Lorraine McBride’s Scientific and Practical Intermediate courses I started stewarding at Honey Shows until I felt I could join other exhibitors chasing after prize cards and trophies, just a bit of fun… One day I’d love to be a honey judge.  I’m now entertaining fifteen to twenty honeybee colonies and enjoy mentoring novice beekeepers in their first year. Over the summer queen breeding is big on my agenda.

A husband, father and grandfather. A joiner by trade, piper (INIB Piper-in-residence!) and bowler. A beekeeper with more than 50 years experience.

Growing up in Ballykeel near Dromore he became friendly with local men who were keeping bees and they encouraged him to start beekeeping himself. He needed a hive, so he borrowed an empty hive and made himself one the same – as you do! Cecil got himself some honeybees, put them into his nice new hive and his interest and passion for beekeeping grew from that point. He made more hives as and when needed and that was the start of his love for honeybees and beekeeping.

Cecil is both a founder member of Dromore & District Beekeepers (1984) and of the INIB (2001).

Cecil has long been associated with the management  of the INIB and with Dromore BKA Honey Shows. He is an INIB Honey Judge, a honey show exhibitor and often a prize winner. He has judged at the Great Yorkshire Show and numerous local Honey Shows. Cecil was named as the INIB Beekeeper of the Year 2012.

In autumn 2010 I embarked on a course about honey bees at Dromore BKA. Well taught by Norman Walsh we soon learned the basics about beekeeping. After passing the Preliminary Exam in May 2011 it took until the summer to get my first bees. Meantime I built my own hives to plans from Dave Cushman. Now I have fifteen to twenty colonies keeping me buzzing. But I wanted to learn more: Lorraine McBride’s good Intermediate courses at Greenmount made us deeper appreciate the fascinating craft of Beekeeping. Thinking I didn’t know enough about honey I got involved in Stewarding at Honey shows. Best thing ever! Now I’m into queen breeding and helping novice beekeepers get bees.

Bees were a part of Walter’s life. His father and grandfather both kept bees on the family farm near Aughnacloy in the proper old fashioned way – homemade WBC hives and on sections only. Both were good carpenters so hive making was never a problem. Walter had his own hive when he was 8 years old. It started its life in a butter box, as there were no spare hives at the time. He invented a method of enticing the bees into a section crate His method was successful and his sections of honey were sold by his mother, who ran the family’s general grocery store. She made a profit, he made a profit and both were happy.

Beekeeping had to be put to one side when he was in his early twenties, as work took Walter to India, Pakistan and finally Brazil. In 1974 he came home and settled in Antrim, taking up beekeeping once again and he has been a serious beekeeper ever since, always having between 10 – 12 hives on the go at a time.

Walter joined INIB committee in 2003 and continues to be valuable and most generous Officer with his experience, time and donations to INIB fundraising efforts.

Cecil has been a beekeeper since 2009. From humble beginnings with a solitary nuc, he is now working with 14 hives.

Cecil finds beekeeping a very pleasurable experience, which has had the added advantage of raising his awareness of the environment and the wonder of nature.

Cecil has been an active member of INIB since 2014 and finds the social aspects of beekeeping very rewarding.

Ewen is new to beekeeping but having always had an interest in the local environment and understanding the importance of pollination he jumped at the opportunity to become involved in beekeeping. He currently has one hive beside his family’s organic garden and has plans to work his way up to an apiary. With family from a farming background and being involved in the food industry his entire adult life Ewen is passionate about doing his bit to raise awareness of the importance of bees and the farming practices that coincide with a healthy bee population.