Thursday, 13 September 2018

Bee in the City

If you go down to Manchester this summer you're in for a big surprise...the Bees have invaded! Until the 23rd September a sculpture trail of over 100 giant bees has descended on Manchester city centre and around its suburbs to form Bee in the City. It is a partnership between Wild in Art and Manchester City Council who have brought together local businesses, community groups, artists and young people to decorate so many bees all with a different design and story behind them.
With so many to choose from it's difficult to pick out a favourite but I was naturally drawn to the display at the Science and Industry Museum. The bee located here is sat amongst the Summer Bee Garden.
Designed by Alex Froggatt the garden is filled with bee friendly plants such as echinacea. She has a background in biology, botany and wildlife conservation. Her design highlights that even in urban areas bees need areas where they can find pollen and nectar to feed on.
In Great Britain of the 270 bee species there are 35 of these are endangered. This is down to changes in the environment such as loss of habitat, pollution, use of pesticides and disease. Some of the reasons why bees are dying are still unknown but by creating bee friendly areas wherever possible will help existing colonies.
However big or small your space is a bee-friendly area can be created. An old oil drum has been used as a container to grow courgettes.
Shelving is made out of guttering to form a shallow growing area for a variety of plants including strawberries and tomatoes.
On the other side pallets have been utilised to create a herb garden.
The bee itself has been designed and painted by Tim Sutcliffe. Brought up in nearby Rochdale his 'Industrious' bee was inspired by childhood visits to the museum. It harks back to an age when much of Manchester was given over to heavy and dirty industry where factories and mills filled the landscape. Today the bees are returning to this city.

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