TRIBUTES have been paid to a well know Ludlow man with a passion for beekeeping.

Robin Lewis was born on November 24 1937, the eldest of six children, to Rev Edgar and Eileen Lewis.

He was educated at home until the age of fourteen by his mother before attending Ludlow Grammar School where he became a very accomplished chess player and pianist.

In 1958, Robin went to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge to study Natural Sciences, before graduating in 1961.

After his marriage to Ruth (nee Manford) that summer, Robin embarked on a teaching career that was to span nearly 30 years.

Then in 1964, Robin and Ruth moved to mid-Wales where Robin became maths master at Christ College, Brecon, a post he held for nearly 25 years. During this time he engaged his passion for music.

Another passion in his life was bee-keeping, having been introduced to his first hive by his grandfather.

After moving to Wales, Robin’s hobby rapidly expanded into a full-time honey producing business, run in conjunction with his teaching career.

In the late 1980s, Robin retired from teaching to further develop his honey business with the formation of Brecon Honey Company.

At its height, BHC packed seven to ten tonnes of honey a week and became the third largest honey packer in the country.

His desire to promote and sell honey took him on trade missions on behalf of Wales to America, Japan, Europe and Scandinavia.

In 2004 Robin became Chairman of the British Bee Farmers Association and was also a member of the Honey Association and Brecknock and Radnor Beekeepers.

Unfortunately, due to illhealth, he had to retire from bee-keeping in 2011, though Robin continued to enjoy a second term as chairman of the British Bee Farmers Association up to the time of his death.

Robin’s third passion in life was bridge which he played for Warwickshire.

He was a very keen rail enthusiast with a particular interest in steam.

Robin is survived by his wife, three children and eight grandchildren. He died aged 74 in December 2011.