The Trustees

The Trustees

Chairman: Richard Jones

Richard was a head teacher before moving into international public relations and fund-raising. This experience then brought him to the International Bee Research Association (IBRA) in 1996. The organization founded by Dr Crane in 1949.  As Director for almost 16 years, he had the opportunity to travel widely in order to learn about, and promote bees and beekeeping worldwide. Richard then again followed in Eva Crane’s footsteps and was for many years was the editor of the journal Bee World.  He now concentrates his efforts on promoting the work of the Trust and is proud to be its Chairman.

Richard has a passion for anything to do with classic cars and motor sport.   


Rose Cooper

Professor Rose Cooper retired from the Microbiology Dept. at Cardiff Metropolitan University in December 2017.  She began to investigate the microbiology of wounds in 1992, which led to an interest in the efficacy of topical antimicrobial agents. Since 1997 she has been especially interested in studying the mode of action of manuka honey on antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria isolated from infected and chronic wounds, such as MRSA. Before retiring she had been testing combinations of antibiotics and honey on wound pathogens to find synergistic interactions.

For many years Rose was a Trustee and member of the International Bee Research Association (IBRA). Being familiar with Dr Crane’s work she also greatly appreciates the need to disseminate good scientific knowledge within the academic community and beyond.  

In her spare time Rose is an avid supporter of Welsh rugby and also makes her own jewellery.

Dirk de Graaf

Professor Dirk de Graaf leads Honeybee Valley and the Laboratory of Molecular Entomology and Bee Pathology at Ghent University, Belgium. In so doing he combines an intense collaboration with all participants and stakeholders involved in the beekeepers’ value chain, with more fundamental academic research. His research domain was for many years bee pathology. Recently he has refocused on different themes that all contribute to the mitigation of bee mortality. These include work on bee breeding (selection), beekeeping management and landscape restoration. At present he is coordinator of the EC Horizon2020 project B-GOOD aimed to pave the way to healthy and sustainable beekeeping.

In his limited free time Dirk is a passionate motorcyclist, he also enjoys playing his electric guitar and is known to experiment in the kitchen.

Clementine Smith

Clementine was the wife of David who was appointed by Dr Crane as one of the founder board members of her Trust. David died in March 2015 and Clementine agreed to take his place as a Trustee.

For the whole of her married life Clementine shared David’s involvement in bees and knew Dr Crane very well. She was aware of Dr Crane’s ideals, her aims and particularly her dislike of any wastefulness. It is that knowledge and understanding that she brings to the Trust. Clementine as a keen gardener has ensured that that her own garden is particularly bee friendly. She is also very involved in voluntary work. Clementine has two sons and three grandchildren.


Sjef van der Steen

After 40 years in beekeeping research at the Ambrosiushoeve, the former applied study facility for beekeeping, and the Wageningen University, Sjef van der Steen is now a consultant in honeybee and bumblebee matters. His major interest is in the field where environment and honeybees, bumble bees, and wild bees converge. He chaired the ICPPR BeeProtection group and with this group, OECD guidelines were made for the first and higher-tier toxicity tests for bumblebees. His Ph.D. thesis “Beehold, the colony of the honey bee as a bio-sampler for pollutants and plant pathogens” reflects his interest in that facet of beekeeping. Currently, he coordinates the INSIGNIA-EU study. A pan-European citizen science study with beekeepers to monitor the environment with honey bee colonies for pesticides, microplastics, heavy metals, and air pollutants.  Beekeepers' citizen science is in his opinion a very strong, most-needed tool to collect study data and to strengthen the interaction of beekeeping and science.

In his free time, Sjef is a gardener, amateur cellist, baker, and enjoys sewing.


Penny Walker

Penny worked for the International Bee Research Association (IBRA) for many years, as well as other scientific organisations, and is currently a scientific editor for an academic journal. She worked closely with Eva Crane from 1973, and was especially involved with the preparation of Eva’s publications. She recalls: ‘We sometimes took this work to her holiday home in Co. Kerry, and we also made trips to various parts of the UK and France to record bee boles’. For many years Penny maintained and managed the Bee Boles Register and its website. Penny was literary executor to the late Eva Crane and has extensive knowledge of her work.