The “Flying B” ornament has been an emblem of the Bentley brand for almost 100 years, but as the marque passes its centenary it’s introduced a new and entirely different type of flying B: the honey bee.
As part of a biodiversity initiative, in a long line of environmental targets for the brand, Bentley has introduced two hives of European Honey Bees — Apis mellifera — to a special site on the company’s Crewe headquarters grounds.
These bees have been in decline in recent decades, thanks to issues like colony collapse disorder, Varroa mite infestations, pesticide use, and invasive predatory species. Given the significant role bees play in the pollination of plants used for feeding humans, it’s not a trivial concern.
The two traditional “national”-type hives will be home to some 120,000 honey bees, bred by local beekeepers. They’ve been placed in an area of grassland which Bentley had already sown with bee-friendly wild flowers to make for an ideal habitat for the insects.
When in full swing, the hives will each be able to produce 15kg of honey annually, enough to fill around 100 jars, and Bentley is expecting the first harvest towards the end of this summer.
Peter Bosch, Bentley’s member of the board for manufacturing comments:
“We’re constantly looking for ways to improve our environmental footprint and achieve our goal of carbon neutral operations… Bee populations are in decline in the UK, so installing two hives to help boost biodiversity is a great way to make use of the grassland at the edge of the site.”