Robert Field is a second-generation commercial beekeeper and former Chairman of the professional Bee Farmers Association. After leaving school in 1983 he joined his father in the family business and has now been bee keeping for over thirty years. Originally the business was located in the Thames Valley with hives frequently moved to provide pollination, especially for top fruit crops, during the spring.
In the late eighties and early nineties Robert started migrating hives into the County of Dorset towards the end of summer for the production of Heather honey from the Heathlands surrounding Poole Harbour. With the continued expansion of Oil Seed Rape crops across Southern England, Robert took the decision to move both home and business and relocated to Dorset during 1993.
The business continued to expand in both hive numbers and areas of operation in the following years and especially so when Robert bought hives from retiring bee keeper John Rawson who’s business was located on the chalk grasslands of Salisbury Plain.
With the continued expansion in hives numbers and the steady increase in honey production, there became a need to employ additional staff. Robert now has the assistance he requires including the recent appointment of an apprentice. This being part of a bigger initiative to educate and employ enthusiastic youngsters within the industry.
Over 30 years experience
Throughout his career Robert has improved his working knowledge by spending time with other beekeepers overseas. This has included both time spent in Tasmania and New Zealand working on Leatherwood and Manuka honey production. In recent years relationships have been forged with Danish beekeepers who have helped to provide new Queen bees, which offer greater honey production and a better temperament.
Isle of Purbeck
2014 has seen further improvements to the overall running of the business, with Robert moving operations into a brand new purpose built facility situated on the edge of Heathland within the picturesque Isle of Purbeck. Grant funding gained through the Rural Economy Grant has enabled Robert to make this important step forward and should allow the business to continue to grow further in the coming years.