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Every year, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars marks World Bee Day on 20 May. This year, the celebrations take on a truly international dimension, with activities at the company’s original Apiary at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, and the new beekeeping operations the marque has established elsewhere in the world.


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  • Rolls-Royce prepares to celebrate World Bee Day on Monday 20 May, with activities at home and around the world
  • Originally inaugurated in 2017, the Goodwood Apiary is home to six beehives, housing over 250,000 honeybees
  • As part of Rolls-Royce’s 120th anniversary celebrations this year, the beehives have been renamed after six of the ‘Makers of the Marque’ – key figures from the founding story that began on 4 May 1904
  • Existing Rolls-Royce Apiaries in the UK, UAE and South Africa set to be joined by new colonies in Oman and Bahrain

“World Bee Day is always a big event in the Rolls-Royce calendar, and this year our participation takes on a truly international flavour, with activity in five countries. At the original Apiary at the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood, we were especially honoured to welcome our Junior Beekeeper, Poppy Liddle, for her first inspection visit this year. She was among the very first to see the six hives with their new historic names, bestowed upon them as part of our 120th anniversary commemorations. We’re delighted to recognise and celebrate the fundamental role of bees and other pollinators in company with beekeepers, conservationists and other caring people all around the world.”
Andrew Ball, Head of Corporate Relations and Heritage, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Every year, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars marks World Bee Day on 20 May. This year, the celebrations take on a truly international dimension, with activities at the company’s original Apiary at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, and the new beekeeping operations the marque has established elsewhere in the world.

The original Goodwood Apiary was established in 2017 in response to the drastic decline in the population of honeybees, which are crucial pollinators for a host of food crops, as well as wild plants.  

The Apiary is home to a colony of around 250,000 honeybees. Every year, the honey produced is carefully processed, jarred and labelled by a team of dedicated volunteer beekeepers. The honey is made available only to visiting clients and VIPs.

Ahead of this year’s World Bee Day, Rolls-Royce welcomed 11-year-old Poppy Liddle, honorary Junior Beekeeper, back to the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood. Poppy, who lives in nearby Selsey, West Sussex, first came to the marque’s attention in 2021 when a story appeared in the pages of the local newspaper concerning the theft of her own beloved beehive. Moved by her plight, Rolls-Royce arranged for Poppy, then aged eight, to visit the Goodwood bees; the occasion culminated in her appointment to the unique and prestigious office of Junior Beekeeper.

Making her first inspection visit this year, Poppy was confronted by her charges swarming in a nearby tree. Working with beekeeper Jay Hampton, she helped return them to the Apiary, where another important duty awaited her: inaugurating the newly renamed beehives.

When the six beehives were first installed in 2017, they were named after Phantom, Ghost, Dawn, Wraith, and Cullinan, the Rolls-Royce motor cars meticulously crafted at Goodwood at that time, with the sixth one named Spirit of Ecstasy. Today Dawn and Wraith, have ceased production; whilst the marque has added Spectre to its product portfolio.

Rolls-Royce has therefore used the occasion of the marque’s 120th anniversary this year to rename the hives after six principal characters from its founding story, as featured in its year-long retrospective series, Rolls-Royce ‘Makers of the Marque’. The hives will henceforth bear illustrious names including Charles Rolls, Henry Royce and Eleanor Thornton, engraved on the same stainless-steel treadplates which are fitted to the marque’s pinnacle product, Phantom.

After the inauguration, Poppy enjoyed a private tour of the Home of Rolls-Royce, conducted by some of the skilled Apprentices currently training with the marque.

To celebrate World Bee Day, and as part of its wider community outreach, Rolls-Royce staff and members of the Chichester Beekeeping Association also visited the nearby March CE Primary School. Children from Years 1 and 2 examined an empty beehive and beekeeping equipment, learning about bees’ vital role as pollinators in sustaining biodiversity.

Following the success of the Goodwood Apiary, the marque has extended its beekeeping activities to other regions around the world.

The Dubai Apiary was established on World Bee Day in 2021 by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Middle East & Africa and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Dubai (AGMC). Like the original at Goodwood, the Dubai Apiary comprises six hives. However, these hives have been specially designed and constructed to withstand the Emirates’ high temperatures. The bees are also specific to the region, bred from the indigenous Apis mellifera jemenitica bee and perfectly adapted to the local environment.

As well as being home to 60,000 Emirati honeybees, the Apiary is both a refuge for other pollinator species and an important education hub. Since 2023, it has hosted a number of workshops exploring the importance of pollinators in maintaining biodiversity, healthy ecosystems and food security, inspiring students from schools and universities across the country.

Launched in 2023 in partnership with Grootbos Foundation, the Rolls-Royce Apiary in Johannesburg was the second initiative of its kind in the Middle East & Africa region. The six beehives are situated in an award-winning 3,500-hectare private nature reserve, which boasts over 900 plant species, 118 bird species, 29 mammals and 21 amphibians. The Apiary is part of the Grootbos Foundation’s tireless work maintaining the purity of the reserve and the local bee population.

Ahead of World Bee Day, Rolls-Royce is also delighted to announce that two new Apiaries are to be added to its growing international portfolio.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Riyadh has established five beehives in Baljurashi, in the south-west of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The city lies within the Al Baha region, which has a strong apicultural industry and hosts an annual International Honey Festival, attended by experts from over 30 countries.

As part of continuing pollinator preservation efforts across the region, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Muscat have installed four new beehives at the Alila Jabal Akhdar resort –2,000 metres above sea level.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Bahrain is establishing five new beehives at the very heart of the Kingdom in the lush grounds of the Royal Golf Club just 20 minutes from the capital, Manama. 

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