Why is the bee a symbol of Manchester?

Last updated at 14:15
Candles and a hand-drawn message reading "Stay Strong Our Kid" are pictured in Albert Square in ManchesterDick Vincent / AFP
The image of the worker bee was important for many Mancunians following the Manchester Arena attack in May 2017

On 22 May 2017, people attending an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester became the centre of a terrible attack.

The attack sadly injured a number of people and killed 22, but following this attack the city of Manchester came together and united under the symbol of a bee.

A year later, the bee still plays an important role in commemorating what happened.

But why is the bee such an important symbol for Manchester?

The Manchester worker: Busy as a bee
A Manchester Worker Bee incorporated into the floor of the Town Halll in Manchester.
The worker bee is an important historical symbol for Manchester and can be seen throughout the city

In the 18th and 19th Centuries, Manchester was at the centre of a period known as the Industrial Revolution.

The Industrial Revolution was a time in which there was lots of progress in technology and industry.

Instead of production happening by hand, businesses started to use factories and machines.

Manchester was at the heart of this revolution - it was known to some as Cottonopolis because of the amount of cotton fabric it produced.

The Mancunian factories were sometimes referred to as beehives, because the workers within them were so busy and productive.

This was how the bee became first associated with Manchester.

Want to find out more about other city symbols around the UK, then check out our quiz!

Manchester bees found on the fountain in Cathedral Gardens (left image), painted onto the side of a building in Northern Quarter (centre) and on a bollard on John Dalton street (right)BBC / AFP
Buzzing around: Manchester bees can be seen all over the city, including on the fountain in Cathedral Gardens (left image), painted onto the side of a building in Northern Quarter (centre) and on a bollard on John Dalton street (right)

The idea of the Manchester worker bee as a symbol for the city became increasingly popular throughout the Industrial Revolution.

In 1842, the bee was first officially incorporated into the Manchester coat of arms.

Now you can see the bee all over the city!

For many Mancunians, the worker bee represents both hard work and working together.