Not many people think about car manufacturers who are also skilled beekeepers – Photo: Lamborghini
Big names like Alpine, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Lamborghini, Mahindra, Mercedes, Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Toyota, Vauxhall and Volkswagen all have bees. Sebastian Vettel, Renault and Aston Martin F1 driver, also backed the wild bees with the promise of flowers. Renault has decorated the flora in the facility in line with its commitment to biodiversity. And Vettel promised to fund the planting of 1 million flowers in Germany so that bees have a place to collect nectar.
The short answer to why automakers keep bees is pretty simple: it’s easy to get bees into factory premises, while most other animals are much harder. The automakers’ campuses and facilities include large tracts of land that could be used for sustainability initiatives – like beekeeping.
In addition, this is also a form of promotion. What’s better when the company’s image is associated with the environment. That may be why the VW Group is nothing more than a bee farm.
Volkswagen Motorsport in Hannover has not only cars but also two hives, each with about 50,000 bees, called I.Bees, based on the ID designation for its electric models – Photo: Volkswagen
What about other brands? Ford and Mahindra are working with charities to improve the environment and society. Mahindra North America partners with the charity Bees In The D. The organization specializes in helping to renovate the Michigan surroundings towards pollinators.
Ford keeps bees in Ypsilanti, Michigan, to Heroes to Hives, a veteran-led charity dedicated to providing bee-therapeutic solutions.
Ford’s idea of placing new honeycombs right at the headquarters – Photo: Ford
Lamborghini studied 600,000 bees living in 13 beehives at the Parco Lamborghini facility in Italy. The project studies bee behavior to find solutions to help bee populations around the world.
Jaguar Land Rover bees are part of a wellness program. The first beehives have appeared at the Solihull plant and will be rolled out at all of its UK plants.
Honda also keeps bees in the UK, supporting an environmental program in Swindon. Similarly, Toyota also keeps bees just outside of London.
Two Stellantis bee projects are underway in Vauxhall’s Ellesmere port area. Chrysler partnered with Bees In The D at the Chrysler Technology Center in Detroit. Chrysler’s two bee queens even have names: Stella and Aunt Tess.
Bentley and Rolls-Royce bees get a luxurious stay. Bees were introduced by Bentley as part of the workforce on the production line in Crewe, the northern English town known for its windswept train station. Rolls-Royce keeps 300,000 bees on the premises of its Goodwood headquarters. There, they can enjoy classic motorsport events as well as a mahogany honeycomb with a butler serving.
Bentley is not only famous for supercars bearing the “Flying B” logo, but also 120,000 bees of different types. Each hive can produce 15 kg of honey, equivalent to 50 jars of bees – Photo: Volkswagen
Rolls-Royce’s bees have a luxurious life – Photo: Rolls-Royce
Audi’s bees live wild on 17 hectares of its land in Münchsmünster near Ingolstadt, Germany.
Porsche has the most bees in the auto industry, with 3 million honey bees in Leipzig, creating a large ecological park. Other inhabitants of the 132 hectare estate include 25 wild horses and aurochs (European bison) that are considered extinct and have been genetically studied for crossbreeding since several years ago.
Porsche is the leader in beekeeping – Photo: Motor1