Why is the Worker Bee a Symbol of Manchester?

Have you ever wondered why there are images of bees placed all around Manchester city centre? Have a read and find out.

CUE Marketing’s headquarters are in the heart of Manchester city centre, and It is great for our office to reside in a city with important history concerning agricultural growth and industrial development. In the wake of the horrific terror attack committed on the 22nd May at the Manchester Arena; the bee symbol has spread widely across social media, and for some people, it brings with it the question ‘why is the Worker Bee a symbol of Manchester?’

The Worker Bee has been a token of Manchester since the Industrial Revolution. During the mid-nineteenth century, Manchester became the centre of the cotton industry within Lancashire and gained the name ‘Cottonopolis’ to represent the large cotton trading city. Mancunians working in the cotton mills were likened to the ‘worker bee’ because the mills resembled ‘beehives’. In 1842 Manchester was granted its Coat of Arms which included a globe covered in six ‘busy’ bees. The worker bee represents Mancunians and they are an analogy of pliancy, resilience and work ethic.

If you look closely around Manchester, you can see the bee motif all over the city. Manchester Hall on Bridge Street has many depictions of bees situated throughout its vicinity. There is a beautiful honeycomb printed wallpaper in the ladies bathroom and the reception desk houses bee replica’s. Inside Manchester Town Hall there is a bee mosaic on the flooring, and throughout the city there are bee’s etched into buildings; they can even be found on the bins! Next time you are taking a walk through Manchester, why don't you try and spot as many as you can? You would be surprised by how many you can find.

Worker Bee Facts:

> Did you know that Worker Bees are actually all female?

> The Worker Bee lacks the same reproductive quality of the Queen Bee

> It is the Worker Bee’s job to look after the hive

> The life span of a Worker Bee is only 6 weeks during ‘active season’ and up to 8 months during the winter season

> Worker Bee’s focus on teamwork!