Chain Bridge Honey Farm take their name from the Union Chain Bridge, once the longest wrought-iron suspension bridge in the world, that links Scotland to England across the river Tweed. They are based in England – but only just! Based in Northumberland and located a mere 200 yards away from the bridge, the farm was set up by beekeeping advisor William Selby Robinson in 1948.
Today, it is still a thriving family business. William’s son Willie joined the business in 1962, expanding both the hives and the product range and was joined by Daphne Robson in 1972. Mr Robson Snr continued working until he was 82 years old and his wide-ranging knowledge and expertise were crucial to the continued growth of Chain Bridge Honey Farm. Today the farm employs 15 people including Willie, Daphne and their 3 children. Son Stephen has taken up beekeeping, whilst Heather and Frances concentrate on packaging honey and creating new products such as cosmetics or soap. Find all of the Chain Bridge Honey Farms products we currently stock here in our webshop.
Chain Bridge Honey Farm tend almost 2,000 hives within a 40 mile radius of the farm and they’re planning to expand that to 2,500 in the future. They produce up to 50 tonnes of honey in a good season! The bees begin their year foraging in fields of oilseed rape, as well as hawthorn, willowherb, borage and phacelia. This creates a mixed flower honey which is bottled and named Tweedside Honey after its geographical collection area. This is a lightly coloured honey, with a delicious sweetness. Buy it here in our webshop.
Around the end of July the bees are moved to the heather moors in Northumberland and the Scottish Borders just in time for the flowers to bloom. A few months later when the bees have fed on the heather the honey is collected and honeycomb from the hives is cut out. A darker honey than the Tweedside Flower Honey, Chain Bridge Honey Farm;s Heather Honey is widely prized for its texture and flavour. You can find the 340g jar here, or the 454g here in our webshop.
They also produce honey on the comb, it’s raw and 'just the way the bees made it'! Find wildflower honeycomb here.
Chain Bridge Honey Farm VIsitor Centre, Shop and Café
Chain Bridge have also had a visitor centre since the early 1990s, complete with an observation hive where you can view bees behind glass! The history of bees and how they create propolis, honey and wax can be found along with a intricate murals created by local artist Tony Johnson over 10 years. There’s also a large display of vintage vehicles, and best of all a café on a double-decker bus. Perfect for giving yourself an excuse to polish off all things honey including honey flapjacks, honey oaties and even heather honey ice-cream! Admission to the visitor centre is free and they are open weekdays throughout the winter (November- Easter) and every day during the summer months from 10am – 5pm. The Honey Bus Café is open throughout the summer.