Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Rolls-Royce Sees Another Kind of Record Production
Although car manufacturing has been temporarily suspended, production of another unique, distinctly British treasure is running at record levels at the Home of Rolls-Royce: the world’s most exclusive honey.
In their third full season of production, the dedicated 250,000-strong workforce in the company’s apiary are set, once again, to exceed their 2020 volume targets for the ‘Rolls-Royce of Honey’. Having come through the winter in excellent health, Rolls-Royce’s English Honey Bees are currently emerging from their hives and foraging on the half-a-million trees, shrubs and wildflowers flourishing across the 42-acre (17 hectares) Rolls‑Royce site, plus the eight acres of sedum plants growing on the manufacturing plant’s ‘living roof’ – the largest of its kind in the U.K. The more adventurous bees make sorties into the surrounding Goodwood Estate, whose 12,000 acres (4,856 hectares) of West Sussex countryside are among the glories of the South Downs National Park.
Established in 2017, the Goodwood Apiary comprises six traditional, English-crafted, wooden beehives, each bearing a polished stainless steel nameplate handcrafted in the company’s Bespoke Workshop. Five are named after cars in the Rolls-Royce product family – ‘Phantom’, ‘Wraith’, ‘Ghost’, ‘Dawn’ and ‘Cullinan’ – while the sixth, the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’, celebrates the marque’s illustrious mascot.
Like the 2,000 employees at the Home of Rolls-Royce, the bees are responsible for producing a rare and desirable product. At the end of each season, ‘The Rolls-Royce of Honey’ is meticulously hand‑processed by local specialists and served to guests of the marque, including customers commissioning their motor cars in the company’s Atelier suite.
The Apiary project is Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ response to the real and present threat facing the Honey Bee population. Honey Bees are the principal pollinators of numerous tree and plant species, including many of the fruit and vegetable crops that are crucial to the local agricultural economy around the Home of Rolls-Royce. However, a shortage of suitable forage, primarily caused by habitat loss, has put their numbers under great and growing pressure in recent years.