Anyone who has had any contact with myself and Angela will be aware that we have a mild obsession with bees. This didn’t come out of nowhere, it was born from our need to create an object handling resource as part of our Heritage Lottery Funding targets.
The worker bee is one of the main features of Manchester’s crest. It symbolises hard work and cooperation and continues to be used to represent Manchester and its residents. You can’t walk far in Manchester City Centre without seeing the bee in architecture, on street furniture or being used by a variety of organisations and companies. This, along with the increasing number of bee hives located across the city, convinced us that our first object handling resource should be a bee hive.
We worked with Rebecca Chesney, an artist who has used bees in her work before, to create the beautiful box that houses information on the ecology of the bee, a map of bees across the city and real handling items such as an original handkerchief which was given to all school children in Manchester on the opening of Central Library in 1934.
The box made its début during the week Manchester Central Library reopened including a starring role on the actual opening day, the 22nd of March. Children and families enjoyed digging through the box to discover what was in there.
Keep your eye out for the box at our future events and see if you can get a stick or a stamp from our Archives+ team.