Blue Hills History

Blue Hills History

Blue Hills Honey is owned and operated by the Charles family. The business roots trace back three generations to Bernard Charles who kept bees as a hobby and a source of food. Rueben Charles (son of Bernard) and his wife Beryl expanded production to some 1600 hives and saw the business develop into a major bulk honey producer and they were the first Australian firm to export honey to Japan in the 1960s.

Rueben’s son Robbie began managing the business in the 1990s and along with his wife, Nicola (and two children Thomas and Ella), oversaw the establishment of a packaging facility for retail and expanded their export markets in 2004.

Blue Hills has reached a consistently high standard of product quality and customer service. This is reflected in Blue Hills Honey’s company history and awards received by the company.

Blue Hills Honey has a deep and continuing involvement in the honey industry and in particular attaining accreditation and making significant contributions to industry development and advancement of standards.

The company has achieved a fine balance between a family business that traces back through three generations and a growing modern company that competes globally on quality and service.

When Rueben Charles established bulk honey production in 1955 he started a business that has flourished through time and remains at the forefront of Tasmanian honey production today.

The history of Blue Hills Honey can be traced back through the following achievements and milestones:

1955

Rueben Charles (son of Bernard) and his wife Beryl expanded production to some 1600 hives and saw the business develop into a major Tasmanian bulk honey Producer.

Tasmanian Beekeepers Association (TBA) member (1954-1996)
Executive Member (1956-1967, 1974-1977, and 1987-1992)
Founding member of the Tasmanian Honey committee. (1974-1985)
President of the TBA (1977-1987)FCAAA
(Federal Council of Australian Apiarists Association)
Tasmanian representative (1977-1991)
Life Member of the TBA (1994)

1960

First Australian firm to export honey to Japan.

1995

Rueben Charles awarded OAM (Order of Australia medal) for services to beekeeping.

Ruben Charles

Hon Sir Guy Green & Ruben Charles


Hon Sir Guy Green presenting Rueben Charles of Blue Hills honey with the Order of Australia Medal.

1996

Robbie (youngest son of Rueben ) began managing the business.
Tasmanian Beekeepers Association Executive Member (2000 – current)
Murchison District Leatherwood Committee chairman (2000 – 2009) Disease committee (2004 – current)
Apiary Liaison committee (2007 – current)
Vice President Tasmanian Beekeepers Association (2008 – 2010)

2003

Robbie married Nicola Bonde (Registered Nurse 20 yrs, Intensive Care Nurse Specialist, Bachelor of Health Sciences) daughter of Hon Bill Bonde, now retired, Tasmanian Government Minister of Primary Industries and Water 15 years. Nicola took on the role of business manager and sales and marketing in 2003.

2004

Establishment of a packaging facility for retail and export markets.

2004

First Australian producer to introduce the industy initiated BQUAL quality programme based on HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point ) principles.

2007

HALAL accreditation.

2008

Organic accreditation with the Organic food Chain 0498 and USDA 0498.
Organic range of products launched.

2008

Discovery of Active Leptospermum Honey in Tasmania by Blue Hills Honey.

2009

Facilitation of testing of active honey in Australia by an independent Tasmanian Laboratory using HPLC method as per Dresden University Germany.

2009

Launch of new line – Tasmanian Manuka Honey.

2010

Tasmanian Active Honey Group formed. Blue Hills Honey (Australian Quality Honey PTY LTD) is a founding member.

2011

Robbie and Nicola Charles both elected to the Tasmanian Bee keeping Executive

2011

New high grade honey packing facility and warehouse opened.