Leeds honey bee farmer hopes to create a buzz in the sun

Have your say

Life is sweet for nine months of the year when biology lecturer Robert Morris packs up his suitcase and jets to Jamaica.

The father-of-two is living out his dream as a honey bee farmer in his family’s homeland.

Robert Morris.

Robert Morris.

The 57-year-old, from Chapel Allerton, has hives is various parts of southern Jamaica and is based in the countryside of St Elizabeth, where his relatives live.

And his latest line of business could see him create his very own line of honey named after Leeds.

Robert said: “I’m back and forth to Jamaica and spend three months in the winter back in Leeds to spend time with my wife and daughters, which is great.

“I am loving the challenge.

“My next project is to create a honey named after my home city of Leeds, but it will be made in the village of Leeds, in Jamaica, where I am setting up an apiary.”

And Robert is hoping that his business will hit the global export market.

He trained as a beekeeper at Temple Newsam where courses are run by the Leeds Beekeepers Association and he also took part in an informal apprenticeship.

Robert told the Yorkshire Evening Post:“The idea originally came to me after listening to a radio feature on Jamaican radio.

“I heard that Jamaican honey was a new trend and was in world wide demand.

“As the weather is tropical here for 12 months of the year, it just appealed to me and something I fancied trying.”

Previously he worked as a lecturer at a West Yorkshire college and says his life is very different now.

“I’ve been doing it for around three years and am just about to get my trade name officially registered, which I can’t wait to announce. I have my hives in five different locations across Jamaica,” he said.

“There are quite a few skills involved and I really enjoy it.

“My bees collect pollen from avocado and Logwood trees.”

But he says one downside is missing the annual Leeds West Indian Carnival each August Bank Holiday Monday, which he has always loved.

Robert has just returned to Jamaica after visiting wife Paula, and daughters Rachel and Justine.