Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

David Cramp | December 18, 2017

Scroll to top



A brief biography

David CrampDavid Cramp BSc started beekeeping in 1991 whilst still in the Royal Air Force when his wife gave him a present of a swarm of bees wrapped up in a duvet bag. He kept two WBC hives in an RAF married quarter garden in Lincolnshire and in 1992, he attended a basic beekeeping course at Riseholme college Lincoln. After leaving the RAF went on to do a post graduate research diploma at the Cardiff University Bee Research Unit under Professor Robert Pickard and Dr Robert Paxton. His thesis was on Drone Congregation Areas.

Immediately upon graduation in 1993, he and his wife left the UK to start a commercial bee farm in Southern Spain where due to their total inexperience and general incompetence they hit the inevitable cliff face and painfully climbed up and over it during the next 12 years, eventually obtaining organic production status for their honey. During his time in various remote parts of Spain, he became the Spanish correspondent for the Beekeepers Quarterly and also wrote for Bee Culture, The American Bee Journal and El Colmenar and he and his wife had two daughters which they carried around in moses baskets with nets over them to keep the bees away. In 2004 most of his bees were destroyed in a forest fire and the rest began to suffer from Colony Collapse Disorder which at that time was an unknown phenomenon.

In 2005 he and his family left Spain and he became the manager of a 2500 (later 4000) hive operation in New Zealand involved in kiwifruit and avocado pollination and manuka honey production. Following a move of the company in 2006 he left commercial beekeeping and now lives near Wellington with his wife, two daughters and just 15 hives of Italians and Carniolans. He is the author of ‘A Practical Manual of Beekeeping (How to Books Ltd), The Beekeepers Field Guide (How to Books Ltd), The Complete Step by Step Book of Beekeeping, (Anness Books),  Beekeeping. A Beginners Guide (Spring Hill). His new book ‘Bees’ is to be published in 2013 as part of the Whittet Books British Natural History series. He is the editor of the online beekeeping science newsletter APiSUK published by Northern Bee Books and is a member of the International Bee Research Association (IBRA).

Downshift Abroad

That is me in a nutshell. Our family has had a bit of a nomadic life around the world but now I live with my wife Anna and two daughters Lucy (18) and Maria (11), near Wellington in New Zealand and I combine writing books with writing for the New Zealand parliament on agriculture, fisheries, forestry, and biosecurity matters. Our 12 years in Spain as downshifters was quite an experience and if you want to see how it all went and what we got up to please see my blog.

Apis UK

If you want to read about the science of beekeeping (don’t worry – it’s all in readable English) and find out what’s happening at the cutting edge of bee research, take a look at I edit and produce this ezine, which is published by Northern Bee Books, and it is really useful for beekeepers to keep up with what is going on. And it’s free! Bee poetry by the greats such as Emily Dickinson and Sylvia Plath; cooking with honey and beekeeping history are all included as well as good, interesting research, so take a look.

My books on bees and beekeeping and Bassdrum Books

Take a look at my books, where you can also find out where to buy them. I’ve described them as fully as I can and they are based on many years of experience and research. Books published under our Bassdrum Books imprint by other authors are all available for sale as well, although Bassdrum Books has now ceased print publishing.