Gavin Ramsay – Chair

Gavin has kept bees from the mid-1990s and since then he has managed to make most of the possible beekeeping mistakes! He chairs SNHBS, helps his local association and presents regularly on bee topics across Scotland and beyond.  He used to be the Bee Health and Science Officer for the SBA until May 2020.  He has also given up being a plant geneticist, and is starting to find out that running a beekeeping business is not for the easily distracted or the disorganised!


John Durkacz – Vice Chair

John has been beekeeping 40 years. Searching for good native type bees that are well adapted to their locality has been his main motivation for many years. Latterly he has become more interested in looking at a more sustainable and ethical approach to our beekeeping practices. John is currently vice-president of his local beekeeping association and a SBA member. He spends his spare time looking at nature and photography and can still manage reasonable hill walks.


Helena Jackson – Treasurer

Helena has been beekeeping for seven years as a member of Kilbarchan & District Beekeepers Association, for whom she is also the Secretary. She is also a member of Glasgow & District Beekeepers’ Association, Clyde & Area Beekeepers Association and the Scottish Beekeepers’ Association (Treasurer). She mentors others in KDBA and has supported seven beekeepers to date. Helena discovered beekeeping via Ayr & District Beekeepers’ mobile Apiary at the Ayr Flower Show in 2011. When not ‘at the bees’ she works as the Head of Financial Improvement for NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and, with her partner Stewart, wrangles six rescue rabbits.

Justine Swinney – Secretary

Justine recently settled in the Borders and began beekeeping in 2018: she has been supporting Kate Atchley in breeding black bees in the Cheviots and hopes to get her own bees this year. Justine also enjoys gardening, spinning (the woolly kind) and weaving.


Margaret Packer – Membership Secretary

Margaret has been keeping bees for about three years.  In 2018 she was elected as Chairperson for the Cambuslang Apiary Project (CAP), a peer to peer practical hive skills learning group, where she was secretary the previous two years. Margaret’s related interests are honey-bee conservation and bee breeding. She has a background in biology and has worked in a technical role for the past 13 years or so. She has been known to potter about in allotments with limited success and enjoys an annual jaunt to France in her big blue van conversion.

Sandy Scott – Fundraising

Sandy joined SNHBS at its inaugural meeting. He has been beekeeping since 2014 and is a member of the SBA and a committee member of the ESBA. He runs the ESBA apiary, with mentoring classes for beginners.  Sandy is also a presenter on Beekeeping at the RHET’s schools open days at Kinnordy Estate.



Alastair Sharp – Trustee

Alastair took up beekeeping in 2018, having spent a lifetime in law in England and wishing to pursue his long-held but unfulfilled interest in bees in the Highlands, where he now spends much of his time.  He is involved in the community being, amongst other things, a Trustee of the Tomintoul and Glenlivet Development Trust.  He is developing a small apiary in Glenlivet where he hopes to preserve an exclusion zone to maintain the strain. He is also involved with the North East Breeding Group whose apiary is nearby at the Cabrach.