You might have heard that World Bee Day is coming up on the 20th May — but what’s all the buzz about?
World Bee Day aims to educate people about the hugely positive impact bees and other pollinators have on our ecosystem, and encourage people to help protect them.
It’s no secret that Manchester is pretty much synonymous with the humble worker bee. In fact, the bee is one of Manchester’s best-known symbols, and has been for over 150 years. No surprise, then, that this World Bee Day, Manchester is very much the place to bee! (Too obvious?)
From supporting local bee-friendly businesses, to heading out to discover some Manchester bees of your own, here are our top 3 ways to celebrate World Bee Day in Manchester this May.
We’ve already spoken about the hugely positive impact swapping your shopping for more sustainable options can have on the environment. Well, bee-lieve it or not, choosing greener suppliers for your weekly shop can help the bee population, too, by keeping their habitat thriving. The good news? Manchester’s a hive (pardon the pun) of eco-friendly local businesses that sell everything from sustainable groceries to shampoo. Here’s our current favourite sustainable Manchester buzz-iness (pardon the pun), to get you started.
Based in Chorlton, workers’ co-operative Unicorn Grocery has been named the nation’s ‘Best Food Retailer’ by the BBC not once, but twice — and is on a mission to sell the people of Manchester wholesome, tasty, affordable food that’s sourced with care. What’s not to love?
Their store is packed with delicious, organic produce that won’t break the bank — but how does this help bees? Organically farmed produce means reducing bees’ and other pollinators’ exposure to the toxic chemicals in pesticides, which helps keep their population high.
Fancy swapping your weekly shop for a bee-friendly alternative? Check out Unicorn Grocery for more info.
Did you know that Manchester’s rooftops are home to hundreds of thousands of bees? Yes, you heard that right! Iconic buildings like the PrintWorks, Manchester Cathedral, and Manchester Art Gallery are all home to active urban hives, with whole bee colonies working away while you shop down below. This World Bee Day, why not see if you can spot them all while you explore the city? Here’s a few to get you started…
Just above the entranceway to Manchester Cathedral, accessible through a small spiral staircase, is the Cathedral’s very own beehive. Home to around a quarter of a million bees, this rooftop beehive is truly one-of-a-kind — Manchester’s is the only Cathedral in the country with its own apiary!
Want to know the best bit? The Cathedral bees’ honey is available to buy from Manchester Cathedral! You can try Heavenly Honey and find out more about the Cathedral bees by heading to Manchester Cathedral’s shop in person, or visiting their website.
This newcomer to Manchester’s hospitality scene (due to open in Blackfriars Street this year) received a donation of 10 hives from Manchester Cathedral to house a total of around 20,000 bees. Can you bee-lieve it?
Maintained by volunteers from the Cathedral’s Volition programme (a charity that helps unemployed people back into work), these hives act as an extension of the ‘heavenly hives’ already in place at Manchester and Salford Cathedrals, and produce honey available to buy in cafes and shops all around the city.
So, why not make a beeline for Treehouse Hotel and check them out when you’re next in the area?
Whether you’re baking with it, using it to soothe a sore throat, or just drizzling it on your toast, it’s fair to say you’ve probably never considered exactly how your honey got from the bees to your breakfast — and how that impacts the bees themselves.
Did you know that by buying local, responsibly farmed honey, you’re helping to reverse the decline of the bee population? When you support local British beekeepers, you’re helping them continue to nurture and maintain more hives — so more healthy bees can thrive in the best conditions possible.
But where’s best to buy honey like this in Manchester? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered — here’s our favourite responsible honey supplier in Manchester.
Based in Sale, Manchester Honey Company’s ethos is based around ‘looking after bees in the most natural way possible’. But how do they do this?
Manchester Honey Company don’t chemically treat their bees, and are extremely careful to leave more than enough honey in their hives to sustain the bees through winter, despite the impact on honey production. Sounds good to us!
You can buy Manchester Honey Company’s ethically sourced honey and learn more about their process via their website.
Are you buzzin’ for World Bee Day? Let us know over on our socials @mapartments_.