Executive Profiles

Peter McDonald – AHBIC Chair

Peter is a commercial beekeeper since 2004 operating a family run business in central Victoria. The business is mainly focussed on bulk honey production with a portion of pollination services included. It has a long history through multiple generations of family involvement in both beekeeping and the beekeeping industry groups.

This is his 5th year as a member of the AHBIC Executive, serving as the AHBIC Quarantine subcommittee chair for 2 years prior to that. He also serves on two Victorian committees that relate to both floral resources and pest and disease control for the beekeeping industry.

He has completed a Bachelor of Business and had previous careers involved in communications in the Army and information technology in the education sector. Peter believes that if our industry is to be profitable, sustainable, capable and prepared, we need to harness the massive revival and interest in the value of honey bees for food security and unite and align our enthusiastic beekeepers’ efforts as a coordinated whole.


Leilani Leyland – Executive Member

Leilani has been actively involved in the beekeeping industry for 28 years. David and Leilani manage Bees Neez Apiaries 700 beehives in Western Australia. Most of the honey produced is sold to Capilano. We also diversify in Pollen collection and Avocado pollination .

Leilani is currently;

  • The Chairperson of the Beekeeping Industry Council of WA, the Peak body for beekeeping in WA.
  • The Treasurer and founding member (Est. 7 years) of the WA Honey Festival where she helps to promote the beekeeping industry every year in May.  The concept being to promote the importance of bees and lift the profile of the industry with a view to attracting new entrants.
  • An Executive committee member of AHBIC having valuable input into all matters involving the beekeeping industry on a national level representing Western Australia.
  • The Secretary of Farming Champions (annual event Farmer on Your Plate held in WA)
  • Secretary of the Mundaring Chamber of Commerce.


Peter Barnes – Executive Member

Peter is a 3rd generation commercial beekeeper who joined the family business in 1988.  The business provides pollination services, honey and Manuka production.

In 2012 Peter was involved in a workplace accident which severely reduced his ability to manage physical work.  As a result, the family business reduced from 1400 hives to 300 hives. Despite this, Peter remains very passionate about the industry and its future, particularly in the areas of resources and marketing.

Peter is currently on the QLD Beekeepers Association Executive.

Prior to his accident, Peter’s other interests included being 1st officer of the local Rural Fire Brigade and he was awarded the Commissioners Awards of Excellence Rural Fire Service Volunteer of the year in 2008 for the North Coast Region.

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