British luxury car maker Rolls-Royce is calling on its own staff to volunteer as beekeepers at the company’s headquarters in Goodwood, West Sussex. The brand set up an apiary at the site in 2018, and it is currently home to six colonies of around 300,000 English honey bees.
Those bees create what Rolls-Royce predictably markets as the “Rolls-Royce of honey”, and the firm is gearing up for another season of harvesting. As a result, it is looking for staff members to volunteer as beekeepers, giving them the chance to help produce luxury honey, as well as luxury cars.
Staff who volunteer for the role will be unpaid and will have to work in the apiary during their own time, but Rolls-Royce says they will earn the “satisfaction of being involved in making a second, even rarer product at the Home of Rolls‑Royce”, as well as contributing to “honey bee conservation”.
Potential candidates will be invited to attend an introductory session run by the company, and those selected to work as beekeepers will then receive training in beekeeping techniques and equipment. The beekeepers will work in the apiary at weekends, under the watchful eye of Rolls-Royce’s chief beekeeper and director of global communications, Richard Carter.
Assisted by beekeeper Jason Hampton, Carter looks after the six bee colonies that feed on the wildflowers and trees that grow across the 42‑acre Rolls‑Royce site. The bees also have the run of the neighbouring Goodwood Estate, which is home to the famous Festival of Speed and Revival events.
“The Rolls-Royce apiary has proved tremendously popular and rewarding since we established it three years ago,” said Carter. “Thanks to media interest around the world, our bees have become minor celebrities, and their progress is monitored closely by our customers and followers worldwide.
“With spring now upon us, and the wildflowers and blossoms appearing across our site and the surrounding countryside, we're inviting colleagues to act as volunteer beekeepers for the new honey-making season. It's a wonderful opportunity to get directly involved in bee conservation, which is so critical in supporting a healthy, sustainable ecosystem and human food production. Plus, colleagues can take pride in helping the bees to create a natural product that's available in even smaller quantities than our renowned motor cars!
"The apiary means a great deal to us as a company and to our customers and followers around the world. The new volunteers will play a crucial part in its success this season, and we're anticipating a great response to our recruitment drive."