The 22 Bee Project is an upcoming event to mark the anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack by covering the city with bees, drawn onto the doors and windows of local businesses. The project was created by Myroslava Coates (also known as Myro), an illustrator from Prestwich, which started with an idea shared on Facebook. The plan was originally to get 22 businesses involved, but already 150+ businesses have signed up and the project has exceeded its fundraising target of £2200. Myro was inspired to start the project “as I wanted to show my support for the victims and their families and all those affected, and by covering the doors of the city in Manchester bees it’s an easy way for businesses to show their support too. It’s going to be a really difficult day for us all but I love the fact that those bees will still be there long after the day is over, still showing that support and kindness and spirit which has become synonymous with our city.” “For me, the bee represents working hard and working together – something Manchester has always been famous for, but never more so than in the aftermath of the arena attack. We’re a jumble of people with different backgrounds, races, religions, ideas and opinions but when times are tough we all stick together as Mancunians, and every time I see the bee now I’m reminded of that solidarity.”
As the project has grown in size, other artists have come on board to help with the workload. So far, Jen Fitton and Amber Plummer will be working alongside Myro on the project. Myro said “My friend Jen kindly volunteered her skills to the cause when she saw the project reach 50 businesses in a matter of hours – I’m so glad she’s on board! The fabulous Amber is now joining us and using her window art expertise to give us a hand over the two days. We’re all artists who do this for a living so we’re used to working to deadlines which will hopefully help us during our challenge!” The drawing is currently planned to take place over the 21st / 22nd May, starting across Greater Manchester on Monday 21st May and focusing solely on the city centre on 22nd.
Once the project is completed, a “Bee Trail” map will be created, allow people to track the bees. Artwork will also be available for sale, for those who want to get involved but aren’t local or don’t have a business. If you’d like to get involved, you can contact Myro via firstname.lastname@example.org. All profits will go straight to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund. All featured photographs on this page are copyright of Myro.
Update – Following the successful completion of the project, here are a selection of the City Centre bees, all photographed by myself. In total, 222 bees were drawn across the Greater Manchester area.