The Manchester Industrious Bees

by Francesca Castaldo March 21, 2019

The Manchester Industrious Bees

As some of you may already know, Magpie Loots’ passion and love is not only the beautiful jewellery that we design and create, but also the charity that we support, The Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

We donate £1 for every jewellery piece sold from our Honeycomb Collection to The Bumblebee Conservation Trust, an organisation which does vital work to halt and reverse dramatic declines in the UK’s bumblebee population.

Through my particular obsession with the buzzy little bee, I would scour the internet daily for ideas for our Honeycomb Collection which would be inspired by these little nectar lovers and the fun bee facts had me buzzing. Did you know that:

  • Honey contains every substance we need to sustain life
  • A colony of bees can contain up to 60,000 bees with only one Queen (very much like my own hive)
  • Bees have been around for 30 million years
  • Eating honey makes you smarter!!
  • Bees communicate by performing ‘special’ dances (that would explain ‘Bee’yonce’s fabulous live shows)

As I was busy researching (and, if truth be told, I was having way more fun than I probably should have been having), I couldn’t help but come across the Manchester Bee. Intrigued, I delved deeper and was fascinated about what I discovered.

The worker bee has long been a symbol for the bustling city of Manchester and is a representation of the extremely hard-working past that is Manchester’s industrial heritage. With factories often referred to as beehives due to the Mancunian workers being so busy and phenomenally productive, I instantly likened the work ethic to the workspaces at Magpie’s Loot.

The beloved bee is featured on the Manchester coat of arms and appears in other locations such as the clock face of the famous Palace Hotel and within the sublime mosaic tiles on the flooring at the Manchester Town Hall. The ‘busy bee’ is a term we’ve all heard of and still use in our daily conversations to this day.

The bee symbolises team work and a never-ending desire to build and protect futures of our families, friends and communities, and never has this been truer than of recent events. Manchester had devastatingly suffered a terrorist attack in May 2017 during a music concert at the iconic Manchester Arena. 22 people sadly lost their lives and through the disbelief, the terror and the heartache, the Manchester Bee once again became that symbol of hope and unity, rebuilding lives and representing working hard and working together.

Inspired by the super powers of these wonderful bees and everything they symbolised, our Honeycomb collection was born; a range of rings, bracelets, pendants and earrings designed and crafted in 18-carat yellow gold and/or Sterling Silver. When I shared the story of the Manchester Bee with our artisan jewellers, the love and adoration for the mega-pollinators grew and has been eloquently reflected in each handcrafted piece.

Our production areas are often hives of creation and production, with works of art being formed into jewellery masterpieces which portray our love and dedication for outstanding jewellery. So, whatever the bee symbolises for you, I hope you enjoy our jewellery as much as we have had creating it, and to those millions of black and yellow striped superheroes; thank you, you are awesome!


Francesca Castaldo
Francesca Castaldo


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