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Having been documenting the Manchester Bee for a number of years now, it’s interesting to notice themes slowly develop. In this post, I’ll be looking at the uses of bee imagery by Manchester bus companies.

The first example is the Bee Line Buzz Company, which ran as a bus service from 1987 before being eventually subsumed by Arriva Manchester. In contrast to the (then) standard double decker service with a half hourly frequency, the Bee Line offered a high frequency (7/8 mintues) service, serviced by 20 seater minibuses. In addition, they could be hailed anywhere on the route in the same way as a taxi.

The bus featured above and below is one of the original buses, now part of the Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester collection. The museum is based in Cheadle and well worth a visit if you have the time. Also below is a promotional badge for the service, which I discovered on a market stall.

Years later, in the wake of the Manchester bombing, Stagecoach double deckers had small commemorative bee designs added to the frontage of their buses.

I haven’t been able to find out any details about this next bus, beyond being able to snap a few photographs. If anyone has any details, I would love to know more.

Finally, here’s a First Manchester Bus, sprinkled with Manchester Bees along its side.