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Meet our current BICWA board: 

Melanie Tolich

Chair, Independent Director 

With a robust background spanning 21 years in Finance and Governance roles within Not-for-Profit and Membership organisations, Melanie has nearly completed her Master of Business Administration at ECU. She has dedicated the past 14 years to executive positions at WAFarmers, specialising in finance, strategy, and leadership. In her various roles, Melanie has gained considerable proficiency in financial management, corporate governance, and strategic leadership at a Board level. She is well-prepared to apply these skills to propel BICWA to new heights.

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Mat Welch


Dr Mathew Welch is a commercial beekeeper managing several hundred hives throughout the south-west of Western Australia. Having spent a decade working in academia as a research scientist, Mat is a strong advocate for research and development in the honeybee space. Mat has been a member of the BICWA board since 2017. He is the current Chairman of the Western Australian Beekeepers Association and sits on the Agricultural Producers Commission Beekeeper Producers Committee.


David Routley


David Routley's journey in the beekeeping industry started four years ago with his son’s interest and employment as a beekeeper, the purchase of two hives, networking with other beekeepers and ultimately the purchase of a small beekeeping business. David has a keen interest in learning the best practices in beekeeping and to continue to developing skills to improve his beekeeping business into a ‘first class’ concern. All areas of beekeeping are of interest to David but is really interested in research and adoption and resource and biosecurity.


Mikey Cernotta

Vice Chair, Director 

Mikey Cernotta is the owner of The Pemberton Honey Company and a commercial beekeeper who produces and packs monofloral honey from all over the South West. Having established himself as a strong advocate for resource security within the industry, Mikey has taken an active role in campaigning against the loss of flowering resources in forests, woodlands and coastal areas due to logging and prescribed burning. His views on the importance of the WA beekeeping industry go much further than just the honey produced, a major focus of his is educating the broader public and agricultural industries on the intrinsic link between forests, bees and food security.


Michael Bellman


Michael, General Manager of Western Honey Supplies—a joint venture between the Spurge family and Hive and Wellness—is focused on globalizing high-value Western Australian honey markets. He's determined to solidify BICWA's position as the leading advocate for the WA honeybee industry. Michael aims to rally commercial operators to support BICWA, ensuring ample funding to advocate for industry growth. His emphasis lies in lobbying government, agencies, and relevant interest groups, particularly in matters of biosecurity and apiary site management, to foster a thriving industry.


Heidi Spicer

Independent Director

Heidi Spicer is a trade mark attorney and engineer with a passion for nature, innovation and the commercialisation of intellectual property. Heidi loves how bees teach us to be better humans, working together towards a greater good. As such it was natural for her to join BICWA and be part of the dream for BICWA to become the leaders that protect our future especially WA. Heidi believes we have a responsibility to learn from bees and teach the next generation about these philanthropist we call bees. She is not a beekeeper but an engineer that enjoys the ancient technology created and tested by bees. She says we have so much to learn from bees and applying the organisational discipline of bees to the young BICWA industry is the future of BICWA.

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Brendon Fewster


Brendon is a 4th generation beekeeper and with his business partner, they work around 1300 bee hives. Their main business is honey production but they have started to venture into pollination of blueberries, almonds and avocados, as well as sending package bees to Canada. Since 2018 Brendon has actively been involved as a director and Chairperson of BICWA. The Bee Industry deserves to be looked after by passionate and dedicated people. There is still a lot to be done, and together, we can shape the future of this wonderful sustainable industry!

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Simon Bongers


Simon is enthusiastic about enhancing our industry, leveraging his background as a former mining professional turned beekeeper to bring valuable expertise to the table. Mentored by seasoned beekeepers, he understands the needs and potential for industry development. Simons aim to represent WA beekeepers, promoting and building the BICWA brand is his focus, as well as constructing a stronger bee industry, fostering a culture of collaboration, and establishing an information highway for member input and success. Together, he believes, we can create a thriving and interconnected beekeeping community.

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Christine Spycher


I started in 2019, supporting BICWA to organise the yearly Conference. My background is organisation and project management. I joined an exciting & sustainable industry lead by a motivated and divers board! I see the most significant opportunity to promote the outstanding WA honey product on local and international markets. We can achieve this by working collaboratively, educating the consumers to raise the WA honey profile and supporting local beekeeping.

Are you interested in joining the committee? Send us an email to find out more. Understand how the BICWA board is structured here. 

Our Committee for the beekeeping industry.

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BICWA Constitution


BICWA Board Charter


SingLE Story charter

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