Over 100 giant Bee and 130 medium-sized Bee sculptures are waiting to be discovered on this free, family-fun trail, taking in the city’s landmarks and undiscovered gems. Each Bee has been designed by a different artist and celebrates the unique buzz of Manchester, from its industrial heritage to its vibrant music scene. An inspirational learning project has given schools, colleges and youth groups the chance to take part and design their own medium sized Bee.
The sculpture trail will cover the City Centre and will also reach into Manchester City Council’s wards, ensuring that sculpture locations are easily accessible to everyone. A trail map and app will be produced to help people navigate around the trail.
You can also pick up a trail map from map hubs across the city.
With the app you’ll be able to collect Bees, unlock rewards, view your progress on the trail and add your photos to our online gallery. Visit the Bee in the City App page for more information.
Bee in the City is a perfect excuse to get the whole family together for a day out. You can explore the trail by Metrolink with a Family Travelcard from just £6.70. The Metrolink has 93 stops across Greater Manchester so you can use your travel card to hop on and off to see the sculptures.
You can find out more information about Blue Badge parking in Manchester City Centre here.
Just find the sculpture’s unique app code (it’s on the plaque of each Bee, in the top right hand corner) that you wish to hear about, and click the audio file to hear it. Henshaws have listed the sculptures in numerical ascending order and grouped them into playlists of 10, to make it easier to sort through using VoiceOver. If there’s a particular bee you’d like to hear and are struggling to find, please get in touch with them on 0300 222 5555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured: Mani signing I Wanna Bee Adored
Olympic champions Laura Kenny and Elinor Barker have signed the Bee, which is located at the HSBC UK National Cycling Centre, the venue for the Bee in the City Farewell Weekend. Read more.
Agnes has flown from her plinth and into the Great Northern. She can be seen inside the venue, a 2 minutes walk from the original location on the square.
The bee emblem took on extra resonance in the aftermath of the Arena attack last year when it was widely used as a symbol of the city’s solidarity and resilience. Whilst Bee in the City is not part of the commemorative programme around the 22 May, it takes place in this enduring spirit and recognises the extra poignancy of the bee symbol.
Please note: The We Love MCR Charity should not be confused with the similarly named We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, which was set up following the Manchester Arena terror attack to help support victims.
Artists who are well-known, emerging and as yet undiscovered submitted unique designs to be considered for the trail. The Bee in the City team had the difficult task of shortlisting almost 400 submitted designs down to 180, and then the sponsors picked their favourites at a special art selection event back in April.
The successful artists are commissioned and paid an honorarium to customise each sculpture.
30,000 children and young people are taking part in an inspiring Learning Programme around the project. 120 schools are decorating a total of over 130 medium sized Bees which will be displayed as part of the trail. Each school Bee will be returned to the school for them to keep after the trail.
Community groups will have the opportunity to work with local artists to create their own Bee which will be displayed as part of the trail and returned to the community as a legacy of the project.
Residents and visitors will explore the trail with a printed Bee in the City map and/or the app, which will help them navigate around the city, discover new places and unlock exciting sponsor rewards.
Funded by the communities themselves, or by a variety of grants, this inspiring showcase of ideas, topics and issues that are particularly meaningful to the groups involved and their members. The Bees will be returned to the community as a legacy of the project.
The event’s aims support the overall aims of the ‘Our Manchester’ strategy, which has set a long-term vision for the city’s future.
Manchester City Council recognises the key strategic role that culture plays in the social and economic life of the city. Wild in Art is ‘buzzing’ to have the Council’s support to present a fun and innovative cultural event that makes art accessible to everybody.
Although the project received initial funding from Manchester City Council, companies in the private sector have further supported the project through sponsorship packages.
The money from the purchase of these sponsorship packages goes towards covering the cost of manufacturing the sculpture, paying the artists who decorate the sculptures, and the entire event infrastructure, operations and logistics for putting the sculptures on the streets, and all Bee in the City associated events.
After that, the Bees will take centre stage at a glittering Auction in October 2018 to leave a lasting legacy for various local charitable causes via The Lord Mayor’s We Love MCR Charity.
This will be your last chance to see all the big Bees together before they are auctioned to raise money for The Lord Mayor of Manchester’s We Love MCR Charity. Take selfies, snapshots and a last lingering look at all your favourites before they take off. Find out more here.
Place your bid for a chance to take your favourite Bee home with you. You can register your interest to attend here.
This is to protect the value of the Bee in the City sculptures that will be auctioned to help raise funds for the Lord Mayor of Manchester’s We Love MCR Charity. To register your interest in the auction, please fill in this form.