The City of Manchester in North-West England has traditionally been represented by various symbols. Most of these symbols are derived from heraldic emblems contained within the city's official heraldic achievement, which was officially adopted when the Borough of Manchester was granted city status in 1842. Notably, the motif of the worker bee has been widely used to represent the city as a symbol of industry
The worker bee has long been a symbol of Manchester and of the city’s hard-working past.
And while every other city in the north of England has a heritage built upon industry - there is a reason that the bee symbol is a part of Manchester’s coat of arms which was given to the city in 1842.
In the 1800s Manchester was awash with textile mills that were commonly described as ‘hives of activity’ and the workers inside them compared to bees.
‘Busy bee’ is still a term associated with industriousness and hard work.
These days Manchester is a city mostly associated with a deep and rich pop culture and a musical history that has influenced artists all over the globe. Coincidentally, the former Sankeys nightclub in Ancoats is housed in the former Beehive Mill on Jersey Street.
The Cottonopolis logo - the Manchester worker bee
You won’t just find the bee on bins dotted around the city though. The bee can be seen on the clock face of the Palace Hotel, on the mosaic flooring at Manchester Town Hall and even above the arches of Links of London.
Furthermore, urban beekeeping even takes place on the roof of The Printworks , thus producing local honey.
Following the Manchester Arena bombing on May 22, 2017, the worker bee became a symbol of unity and defiance in the wake of the attack.
It has come to represent Manchester’s indomitable spirit.
An image of 22 Manchester worker bees was emblazoned on a wall on the side of the Koffee Pot building in the heart of the Northern Quarter.
Each bee, pictured swarming around a honey heart, represents one of the innocent people