Ian passed away in December 2022.  He was a true stalwart of Ormskirk & Croston, the Association and NBU.  He will be sadly missed by all.  

For those who hadn't the privilege of knowing Ian, he was recently awarded his BBKA '50 years of Beekeeping' certificate at Ormskirk & Croston's AGM and here is the accompanying citation:

Ian started beekeeping in 1972 and shortly afterwards enrolled on the first BBKA Correspondence Course. This culminated in being awarded the Wax Chandlers Prize for the best senior candidate in 1980. He joined the Exam Board of which he was Moderator for about 9 years, and in 1984 gained the NDB. As a BBKA examiner he examined many beekeepers at varying levels over the years.

Around 1990 he was seconded by IBRA to GTZ, the German overseas aid agency teaching beekeeping in Pakistan. When the funding for this ceased in 1992 he returned to the UK to hear that varroa had been found in Devon and subsequently was employed by MAFF in searching for varroa in the North.

With the re-organisation of the National Bee Unit, he became Northern Region Bee Inspector until retirement in 2002, lecturing on their behalf to many associations including the Scottish Bee Tour and twice at Gormanston.

Initially a member of the Cheshire Beekeepers Association he was active on the committee for many years and was awarded Hon. Life Membership on his move to Lancashire in 1989.

Ian was instrumental in training the growing numbers of beekeepers that joined in the 2000’s. In particular he instigated the ‘pyramid’ training of those that had taken the lower-level examinations, taking them through the higher levels. He was the driver behind the high number of beekeepers in the North West who have achieved Master Beekeeper status in recent years

Despite his retirement from active training in 2012, due to declining health, he continued to take an active interest in branch events, was willing to give advice, and regularly contributed to the local newsletter.

He latterly attended to four colonies of bees, well down from the peak of 40.

RIP Ian.