City of Bee-ting Hearts


Co-created by composer Emily Levy and individuals from Women's Direct Access Centre

The bee observes our three characters from the sky above Manchester thinking “What are they searching for? What’s their place in this hive of a city?”

The bee starts visiting our characters one by one, cross-pollination skills at the ready…

Shannon notices the bee, still and calm on her arm and thinks “Maybe this is the sign I’ve been waiting for. Maybe I can finally call this city home.”

The bee slowly crosses Dopey’s windscreen. “Why fight the traffic, the car trouble?”, he thinks, “I’ll be more bee. I’ll find a way.”

The bee enters the tram and turns a circle over Tom’s head. The woman next to him is scared, but Tom reassures her: bees don’t sting unless they’re threatened. Relieved, she smiles and thanks him. Tom thinks “Maybe I should give myself a break now and then, perhaps I’m stronger than I know.”

Manchester’s worker bee symbolises the hard-working spirit of the city, and its inhabitants’ willingness to come together. It is an emblem of the solidarity and togetherness after the city’s darkest hours.

Worker bees are female and use all their energy and strength to maintain the hive, and are essential cross-pollinators for the ecosystem.

Sing-along video

Play Video