Celebrate the opening weekend of Bee in the City – the stunning public art trail of over 100 giant 3D Bee sculptures taking over Manchester city centre this summer – by heading to the official Bee in the City Weekender event on Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 July.

With a hive of activity planned by Manchester’s Business Improvement District, Manchester BID, including workshops, street performers, bee-inspired artisan markets, live music and much more, Manchester city centre is set to be buzzing with free activities throughout the weekend for all the family to enjoy, just as the schools break up for summer!

Kids will love roaming theatre piece and festival favourite, Pif-Paf Theatre Company’s ‘The Bee Cart’ where they can meet Bee Guides Bombus and Borage, delve into the world of bees and learn the pollen packing and waggle dances!

Plus there’s lots of family fun to be had throughout the weekend, including story telling at Manchester Arndale, workshops at Manchester Cathedral, craft activities, honey tasting and pot-painting and free tours of The Printworks rooftop garden, home to bees, beetle hotels and a wealth of plant and veg!

Adults can enjoy a cocktail and and listen to summer sounds from the Weekender’s live music stage or head to the Bee Market showcasing the very best products from local artists and makers, including beeswax candles, honey, artwork and more, plus there’s a variety of workshops and free events courtesy of the city centre’s retailers.

Inspired by Manchester’s famous worker bee emblem, the Bee in the City trail will be displayed throughout the city for nine weeks from 23 July – 23 September, providing unmissable, free entertainment for everybody to enjoy! Locate over 100 individually designed bees by downloading the Bee in the City app and navigate your way across the city centre taking in the city’s landmarks and undiscovered gems. Each Bee has been designed by a different artist and celebrates the unique buzz of Manchester, from its industrial heritage to its vibrant music scene.

A Wild in Art project in collaboration with Manchester City Council, Bee in the City will be one of the largest mass participation public art events ever held in the North West. After the trail the bees will be auctioned to raise significant funds for The Lord Mayor of Manchester’s charity, We Love MCR Charity, to improve the lives and life chances of Manchester people.



Pif-Paf Theatre Company’s The Bee Cart
New Cathedral Street
Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 July
45 minute performances: 11am, 1pm & 3pm
Free (suitable for all ages)

Bee Guides Bombus and Borage are from a secret government organisation called The Human Union of Pollinators – preparing for the worst but hoping for the best with their mobile world of interaction, Bee wisdom and surreal fun. Delve into the world of Bees, learn the pollen packing dance, the waggle dance and try out their Buzz Pollenator or their Flapper-Winger-Tronerators, meet a giant Varroa Mite, and maybe even get your nose pollinated!

Honey Tasting with Wythenshawe Park Bee Club
Family Activity Area on New Cathedral Street
Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 July
1pm – 4pm
Taste a variety of delicious South Manchester honeys.

Bee a Beekeeper with Wythenshawe Park Bee Club
Family Activity Area on New Cathedral Street
Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 July
1-2pm & 3-4pm
Free (Age 5+)
See inside an empty hive to find out how bees live and how we work with them, plus learn why bees are so important, how bees make honey and find out if bees ever sleep! And at the end – try a bee suit on for yourself to see how it feels!

Bee Art Gallery with Wythenshawe Park Bee Club
Family Activity Area on New Cathedral Street
Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 July
12-1pm & 2–4pm
Free (suitable for children of all ages)
Come and chose a bee related picture to colour in or make your own bee related drawing to add to the Bee Art Gallery!

The Adventures of Chester the Bee
Saturday 28 July 11am-6pm & Sunday 29 July 11am-5pm
Manchester Arndale
Free (suitable for children of all ages)
The Adventures of Chester the Bee is a unique story telling experience that will engage both children and adults alike. Families will have the opportunity to join the Story Narrators as they are guided through the adventures of Chester and meet the characters he encounters along the way. Afterwards children can get creative in the make & take Busy Bee craft workshop.

Emily’s Paint A Pot
In Next, Manchester Arndale
Saturday 28 July 10am – 5pm & Sunday 29 July 11am – 5pm
Cost – £12.50, with all profits from Bee’s that are painted will be donated to I Love Manchester Charity
Join Emily’s Paint A Pot to paint your very own pot bee! All ages are welcome to join in and all profits from bees painted will be donated to I Love Manchester Charity. Participation is based on a first come first served basis with limited numbers available.

Meet the Beekeepers; Meet the Bees!
Manchester Cathedral Visitor Centre
Saturday 28 July from 1pm – 4pm
Canon Adrian Rhodes and Amber Sanchez are on a mission! That mission is to bring bees to the city and to use the opportunity to help unemployed volunteers get back into employment. As part of ‘Volition’, they offer unemployed people an introduction to beekeeping which they can then build into their list of skills and abilities. Amber and Adrian look after bees on Manchester Cathedral roof, on the roof of The Printworks and now at Salford Cathedral. Come and meet them, learn about bees and beekeeping – and about Volition. And through video links and a live ‘observation hive’ you will be able to see something of the wonderful life of honey bees.

The Printworks Manchester Rooftop Garden
The Printworks Manchester
Saturday 28 July
12pm, 12,30pm, 1pm & 1.30pm
Free (suitable for all ages)
Limited spaces and booking is required.

During the Weekender, The Printworks is offering free tickets to a tour of its award-winning rooftop garden hosting a variety of plants, vegetables, beetle hotels.. and of course bees! Learn all about the Honey Bee and what makes them so important to the world all while enjoying a view of the city most don’t get to see!


Live Music Stage
New Cathedral Street
Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 July
11am – 6pm

Local Manchester bands will be bringing a sunny summer vibe to the Weekender’s live music stage. Top of the bill are the Manchester String Quartet, who will become Manchester STING Quartet for one day only, playing string versions of Manchester classics, bee-sides and summer classical music, alongside sets from 1940s style girlband Bobbysocks and folk band Magic Beans.


Harvey Nichols Secret Garden Pop-Up Bar
New Cathedral Street
Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 July
11am – 6pm

Harvey Nichols will be heading out onto New Cathedral Street with a prosecco bar, ice-cream bicycle and the Harvey Nichols Secret Garden Pop-up Bar which will be serving up cocktails in collaboration with Old Curiosity Distillery and luxury picnic boxes from 11am-6pm.


Bee Market
New Cathedral Street
Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 July
10am – 6pm

The Weekender’s Bee Market will be filled with an array of the very best artisan bee-inspired products! Pick up natural, locally produced bee products including candles, beeswax polish and honey from Fozz-Bees and limited edition beeswax candles from Booze, Burn and Bloom which takes recycled booze bottles and give them a new story by repurposing the glass and turning it into a scented candle!

Check out the wide selection of bee art and prints courtesy of Beemancunian, Northern Quarter Gallery and SashaRay Art, pick up one of Kitcase’s popular Bee travel cases (with a percentage of sales going to the I Love Manchester charity) and don’t miss Manc and Proud’s t-shirts, hoodies, prints, mugs, coasters, pins and patches featuring designs created to speak to all Mancunians and reflect the diversity of the city.


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