The Bentley Bees today return from hibernation to start work with a little extra help from their friends. The company is installing two additional beehives, with one more to follow, taking the total number of Flying Bees to 300,000, the largest collection in the UK automotive industry. A phased production ramp-up is expected to produce more than 200 jars of honey by the end of the harvest season.
After spending the winter months in hibernation with local beekeepers, Buckley’s Bees Ltd, the 120,000 bees return home and will be joined by an additional 180,000 British Apis Mellifera honeybees. The number of national beehives will increase from two to five, all on the edge of Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe. The area is filled with bee-friendly wildflowers and borders the Cheshire countryside, which provides the perfect habitat for the bees.
Coinciding with World Bee Day – designated by the UN – the bees will be put straight to work, with high expectations of matching the productivity of Bentley’s colleagues. Each hive has the ability to create 15kg of honey; meaning around 200 jars of honey could be produced and shared with Bentley’s colleagues and visitors.
Welcoming the bees back to the factory, Peter Bosch, Member of the Board for Manufacturing, comments:
“Bentley’s Flying Bees have become a firm fixture in Crewe and as we come back stronger as a business, now is the time for our bees to return and bring a little extra help with them. This is all part of a wider sustainability programme at Bentley as a significant contributor to local biodiversity and adds to our ambition to lead sustainable luxury mobility in the future.”
Recently, production on the Continental GT and Flying Spur lines resumed following the return of Bentayga and Mulsanne production the week before. This is part of Bentley’s Come Back Stronger programme, which includes the introduction of 250 comprehensive and wide-ranging hygiene and social distancing guidelines implemented to enable a safe return, not all of which extend to the 300,000 bees.
Bentley’s environmental credentials were recognised by the Carbon Trust last year with the headquarters in Crewe achieving Carbon Neutral status, reflecting measures taken by the company to reduce the carbon emitted in its operations.
Measures include the use of renewable electricity, with 100 per cent either generated by on-site solar panels or purchased as certified green electricity, and 100 per cent certified green gas. In a further demonstration to protect local biodiversity, Bentley recently planted 100 native British trees on-site, making the busy bees feel at home, as they ramp up their honey production line.