The bees have arrived in Manchester!
Last weekend, I was trying to come up with something exciting to do when I realised, the long awaited Bee Trail had arrived in Manchester and as the sun was shining, a treasure trail to find as many bees as possible was on the cards. So I roped Wandering Beeb into the trip and the hunt was on!
The Bees in question are part of the ‘Bee in the City Trail’ – 101 bees decorated by artists, communities and celebrities as part of a public art trail. The bee symbol has taken on a more prominent role in Manchester after the Arena attack and the designers of the art trail have recognised this in their giant bee sculptures.
Dotted across Manchester, the bees are all over the wider Greater Manchester area and part of the fun is finding them. A £1.99 app provided a trail map and information on each bee – proving a handy way of keeping track of the ones we spotted.
Whilst the art work involved in each bee celebrates different aspects of the city’s culture and history, I found the most beautiful thing about the bee trail to be the way it provided a route to exploring familiar parts of the city.
Walking around the trail, we found ourselves spotting other pieces of art in the city that we’d never noticed before. It’s easy to walk about a familiar place without actually taking notice of the surroundings.
Brightly coloured wall murals, changes to familiar artwork outside often frequented bars and subtle sculptures all sprang into life around us – usually hidden and forgotten.
We spent around four and a half hours walking around Manchester, following well-trodden paths that our boots could describe blindfolded. At each turn, we spotted something new, visited cafes and shops that we wouldn’t usually notice and stopped to watch an impromptu jazz performance, left over from the recent jazz festival. It reminded me of the walks I used to take as a kid, eyes wide and soaking up the movement of the city around me. It reminded me that we can quickly loose our sense of wonder and adventure in our home town, however we can find it again with a little push.