Photography by David Oates

‘Bee’ a part of the buzz: 80 giant bees to swarm city this summer

  • Wild in Art and Manchester City Council are creating a city-wide art trail of over 80 giant bee sculptures
  • 'Bee in the City' will be unveiled in Summer 2018

Wild in Art and Manchester City Council are looking for artists to participate in their public art exhibition ‘Bee in the City’.

The city-wide public art trail will feature 80+ giant bee sculptures each individually designed by different artists from the region both well-known, emerging and yet undiscovered. 

The free, family-friendly event will run throughout Manchester in Summer 2018 and is expected to attract over 1 Million visitors during it’s nine week display.

With the support of Manchester City Council, the “Bee in the City” event is being created by Wild in Art- one of the leading creative producers of public art events.

Charlie Langhorne, director of Wild in Art, spoke very highly of the event. He said:

“Well, we at Wild in Art do projects all over the world, so we’ve done projects from Christchurch in New Zealand to Dundee to South Polo to Kape Town and now Manchester.

“We’d been thinking about sculpture and we though that the bee would be a great canvas for the artist – so let’s do it.

“The artists of course I think will in equal measures be challenged and inspired by the bee sculptures.

“The event has this great method of bringing people together – I gather you’ve got two quite famous football teams in Manchester and there’s a bit of rivalry but what we’ve found is that these events give a city one topic of conversation.

“So it doesn’t matter if you’re city or United, rich or poor; whatever it is everyone can talk about the bees and its that shared experience.

“And ultimately if you walk around a corner and bump into a 5ft bee dressed like a fairy it makes you smile and its on the back of that smile that all the other benefits will flow. “

Following the exhibition, the bee trail will be auctioned off to raise money for the We Love Manchester charity -which aims to improve the lives and opportunities of the people in Manchester and was created in 2011 by The Lord Mayor or Manchester, he said:

“I make a prediction that Manchester people will take huge ownership of Bee in the City: people who live here, work here, visit here. I think this will become the most significant art project Britain has ever had.”

The worker bee has been a symbol of Manchester since the Victorian era and was added to the city’s coat of arms in 1842 as a reflection of the hard work put in by the city during the industrial revolution.

More recently, the Mancunian bee has become an international symbol of strength and solidarity following the terror attack at Manchester Arena in May which killed 22 people and injured 120 others.

“Bee in the City” hopes to bring all the different elements of Manchester together, engaging 30,000 children through the curriculum linked learning programme and generating an estimated economic impact of £20 million.

A “call for artists” will be released on the 11th December 2017.

Read more about the event and apply to participate at