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The Manchester Bee is a popular tattoo design amongst Mancunians, as evidenced by the many designs I’ve collected on this Pinterest page. The bee also appears in the design of at least two of Manchester’s tattoo businesses – Manchester Tattoo Emporium and Manchester Ink Tattoo, both based in the Northern Quarter. This popularity was something I had not known about until people started sending me photographs of their own tattoos for the previous website.

People’s reasons for getting their bee tattoo are many and myriad, so this page is dedicated to telling their stories, highlighting the importance of the tattoo to their receiver and what they represent to them. If you’d like have your own bee tattoo featured, please get in touch via the contact page.

Roisin Metherell –

What does the Manchester Bee symbolise for you?
The bee, for me, is a symbol of the city’s constant buzz and the ability to use that energy to adapt and innovate. Manchester led the way as the first city of industry, now it’s a creative hub, the UK’s second city, a business capital, a groundbreaking scientific campus and so much more! That’s due to us, the city’s faithful and passionate worker bees! I’m proud to call myself an adopted Manc and love that we have such imagery to symbolise our city and people.

Why did you get a Manchester Bee tattoo?
I was living abroad in Korea, in a country with such a different culture to ours, that at times I missed the UK back home. I had been suffering with wanderlust when living in Manchester in my early twenties, but thousands of miles from home, I realised I was in love with the city, the people, the culture. I wanted something to tie me to the home I had taken for granted for so many years. I’m so proud of the bee tattoo, despite it being probably my least ‘beautiful’ ink; it’s a talking point and serves as my tool to teach others about the heritage of our city.

At which tattoo studio did you get your tattoo done?
In a basement, somewhere in Seoul, by an American visiting the city! In South Korea, tattoos are illegal unless sourced from a licensed doctor, and the tattoo conventions, like those we enjoy in the UK, are raided by the police! Tattoos are associated with crime and prostitution, so it’s a very different environment to have ink, compared to Western culture where it’s mainstream. It’s a little backstory to my Manchester Bee which people don’t expect!