Congratulations to Ted who was recognised not only for his beekeeping but also for his voluntary work. 

In Aprll last year, Ted and son Mark Gradosielski took the above shot at Everest Base Camp – on a Rotary Club trip to help redecorate an orphanage in Kathmandu and trek to base camp with 9 school kids from Hoddesdon.

He became President of the Rotary Club in Hoddesdon in 2016. 

At the end of 2017, Ted was made a Liveryman in the City of London joining the Wax Chandlers who have always had a close relationship with the British Beekeepers Association. 

Ted says he has concentrated on rearing gentle Queens whose workers will not sting beginner beekeepers. 

The letter informing him of his award came on 3rd May from the Cabinet Office. Ted said: 

"I am absolutely delighted and totally surprised! Never had a clue that a group of people thought me worthy of such an honour.

"My most sincere thank you goes to all those that submitted answers to the questions that must have been asked by the Main Honours Committee in the different aspects of my hobbies, interests and charitable works.

"Unfortunately I don’t get to meet the Queen – or visit Buckingham Palace!

"My medal presentation will be done by my local Lord Lieutenant but I do get an invitation to a Royal Garden Party in 2019."

Ted was interviewed on Saturday June 9, as the award was made public, on the breakfast show on BBC Radio Essex with Kath Melandri - the clip is from 1 hour 11 minutes from the start of this link: 

BBC Radio Essex Breakfast Show


Thanks to Robin Harman, Secretary of the Epping Forest Beekeepers Association,  who has shared the citation he sent to the Cabinet Office about Ted: 

"I have drawn on the records of Epping Forest Beekeepers and the recollections of the beekeepers of this Division of Essex Beekeepers when compiling this resume of Ted's activities within this pastime.

"Ted has been involved in the art of beekeeping for almost all, if not all, of his life. His mother, who is now in her 90's, introduced him at a very early age and we are told that he had his first hive at seventeen. Within no time he was winning prizes and trophies and this has continued for almost fifty years. He has kept bees in Forest Gate, East London, South Woodford and latterly Nazeing on the Hertfordshire / Essex border.

"For around two decades Ted has been an integral member of Epping Forest Beekeepers Association, and has held every position on the committee, and at times has held more than one. He was membership secretary / treasurer for several years in the period up to 2011 when there was a massive increase in the interest in the hobby. The membership expanded rapidly from the mid forties to over a one hundred and twenty, and this coincided with computerisation of records, which Ted undertook, of which the same system is still used today. Ted was, by now, producing high quality nuclei of bees and queens, and supplied these to new members and experienced beekeepers alike. This was still Ted's hobby and for this reason he supplied these, due to his generosity, at minimal costs to help interested people onto the beekeeping ladder.

"Ted's knowledge also led him to start queen rearing classes at his home – he taught members how to 'graft' eggs and then produce high quality queens with the sought after characteristics he was recommending. These lessons included identify which queens, be it prolific layers, placid offspring and great honey producers would be most suitable to breed from. His bees are purchased by beekeepers from all over the area from Hertfordshire, Essex and within London.

"Ted agreed to take the role of Chairman in 2011 and performed this role for four years. He was keen to engage with all members and include members from all diverse backgrounds. He opened his home, apiary and workshop up on many occasions. This was for committee and general meetings, the manufacture of hives and other beekeeping items along with events such as BBQ's and queen rearing meetings. He has willingly accommodated visiting speakers and lecturers when they have visited the area.

Willingness to teach

"Perhaps Ted's most important role, which embraces most of the above, is his willingness to teach and mentor beekeepers old and new. He has regularly visited other Divisions in both Essex and Hertfordshire on a regular basis and given lectures and practical sessions in various aspects of beekeeping. For so many members of Epping Forest Division Ted is the first person to ask a question and seek advice, and he has always been approachable and willing to help, be it basic or complex issues.

"Ted has the time for all members – he recently helped our youngest member aged 16 with preparation for his Junior Exam and he also visited our oldest member, Harold Moss, aged over 100, several times before he recently passed away. As a treat for him some time before his death, he refurbished an old hive of his, photographed it and presented a framed photograph to him as a memento.

"Without the vast input of Ted over at least the last two decades the Epping Forest Division of Essex Beekeepers would not be in the enviable place it is now."

Robin Harman – Secretary Epping Forest Beekeepers MARCH 2016.