There are few things more important than protecting the environment, and the plight of bees has long been stressed upon by environmentalists. Champion for the bees is an unlikely hero bearing the RR logo — luxury carmaker Rolls-Royce. As car manufacturing has come to a halt due to the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic, Rolls-Royce saw the opportunity to shift focus and boost its production of its unique side-hustle: honey.
The Home of Rolls-Royce boasts a 250,000-strong honeybee workforce at its bee apiary in Goodwood, West Sussex, UK. Established in 2017, it forms part of the company’s broader environmental vision. Emerging from their hives in excellent health post-UK winter and buzzing with activity, the bees are set to exceed their volume targets of this distinctly British luxury — creating the world’s most exclusive honey.
The bee apiary comprises six “traditional, English-crafted, wooden beehives”, each with its own bespoke nameplate, named after Rolls-Royce models: Phantom, Wraith, Dawn, Ghost, Cullinan — and its mascot, the Spirit of Ecstasy. The bees are able to thrive amongst the trees, shrubs and wildflowers that make up the 17ha Goodwood Rolls-Royce Headquarters, including the 3ha of sedum plants spanning the site’s roof — naturally the largest “living roof” in the UK, because it’s Rolls-Royce, of course.
At the end of the season, once the bees have produced the desired product, the honey is “meticulously hand-processed by local specialists” and packaged to create the aptly labelled Rolls-Royce of Honey. Unfortunately, it’s not for sale to your average folk. Only guests, and customers, of the marque are the exclusive recipients of this honey.
Director of Rolls-Royce Global Communications, Richard Carter explains, “The apiary [project] further underlines our commitment to the environment, which informs everything we do at Goodwood. Through this project, we’re making an important contribution to conserving Britain’s vital bee population.”
It’s a brilliant change of course, in my opinion. I don’t know much about cars, but I do know a lot about bees — and why we need to give a damn about them. As brands adapt to the economic effects of this pandemic, its endearing to see the “sweeter” side of megaliths like Rolls-Royce. Now, all that’s to do is add Rolls-Royce Cullinan to your shopping list, head over to Goodwood (when it’s safe to do so, of course) and get your jar of Rolls-Royce honey.