Why the Humble Bee is a Symbol for Manchester

2 Min Read

And where to spot it when out exploring the city…

During the 1800s, the north of England was abuzz with workers of all trades, and factories were popping up all over the place, providing the perfect backdrop to what would later be known as the Industrial Revolution.

Of course, most major cities in the north therefore have industrial roots, but none more than Manchester. The world’s first industrial city, it became home to dozens of textile mills which were branded, ‘hives of activity’ at the time with the workers being compared to bees for their productivity and exceptional work ethic. This notion of ‘hive’ and ‘hard work’ clearly stuck, and Manchester adopted the symbol of the bee as a symbol of the city in 1842.

But where can I find the bee?

You will find the symbol of the bee throughout the entire city. As mentioned previously, it resides in Manchester’s coat of arms and appears in numerous places around Greater Manchester, from famous landmarks and bridges to everyday buildings and bins. Etched into prominent walls and hidden crevices, graffiti artists have favoured the bee in lots of their work dotted around The Rainy City, so keep your eyes peeled when it comes to street art. Bees have also been etched onto public bins and trodden pavements, but don’t forget to also look up when out exploring. Upon the clock face of the Palace Hotel, you’ll find a furry friend, as well as on the mosaic floor of Manchester Town Hall. It really is everywhere you look.

Used more recently as a symbol of solidarity in the wake of a tragic terrorist attack, the symbol of the humble worker bee has come to mean so much more to Manchester. Plenty of residents have taken to tattoo parlours to have the city’s famous symbol inked into their skin as a sign of respect and to raise funds for the victims of the attack.

Reflective of the community spirit, strength and healthy work ethic of the city, the worker bee will remain a prominent symbol of Manchester and a reminder of its industrial roots for many years to come.

Although the worker bee is a symbol of Manchester, not everything needs to feel like hard work. If you are downsizing, upsizing, or looking for storage solutions in the city, get in touch with us here at Storage World today.

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