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.

Kevin MacGibbon – Executive Member

Having bees around during my early youth, courtesy of apiarists in the two previous generations of my father’s family, it wasn’t a surprise to find myself also firmly entrenched as a semi-commercial apiarist by my early twenties.

Joining my local and state beekeeping organisations saw me voted on to various executive councils where I remain to this day. This includes the current stint on the Australian Honeybee Industry Council.

These days a few health issues have seen me hand my business on to my immediate family, where some 750 hives continue to prosper.

I continue to advocate for a healthy beekeeping sector.


Therese Kershaw – Executive Member

Therese represents the fourth generation of her family tradition of beekeeping, so beekeeping forms the fabric of her life. With her husband Laurie, Therese and their family manage 2,500 beehives in New South Wales. Their business specialises in honey production and almond pollination.

In addition to running the family beekeeping business, Therese has also been actively involved in the beekeeping industry all her life. As her family have spread their wings, Therese’s passion to support the bee industry in different sectors has further grown. Her commitment to the industry, combined with outstanding organisation skills and an infectious sense of positivity, inspires fellow beekeepers and businesses to be proactively involved in the bee industry. The overall impact is increased collaboration across different sectors of the industry which translates to growth in the industry.

Amongst many activities, Therese:

  • Holds the position of treasurer of the NSWAA Southern Tablelands Branch (2008 – present) and is actively involved in all committee activities
  • Coordinated the inaugural NSWAA Trade Show. Held in 2010, Therese managed the event and over the years has shown her dedication for the event to expand. She has strived for opportunities to enable beekeepers to gain knowledge and explore new equipment and technologies at the Trade Show. This provides an opportunity for beekeepers to learn new ways of improving their practices
  • Held the position of Sponsorship & Trade Show Coordinator (2016- 2018) of the 3rd Australian Bee Congress and was an enthusiastic Committee member
  • Held the role of NSWAA Sponsorship Coordinator in 2019 and successfully secured and grew sponsorship levels for the 2019 NSWAA Conference
  • Organised a unique learning opportunity for a group of Australian beekeepers by organising an overseas tour – Aussie Beekeepers USA Tour 2019. The tour involves visiting USA/Canadian beekeepers and exploring their bee operations in order to learn from international experiences.

Therese is a dedicated beekeeper and is strongly focussed on working towards improving the beekeeping industry to provide security for future generations of beekeepers.

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