Give a bee a home: everything you need to know about the Bee in the City Charity Auction


Seventy-three big Bees and four medium-sized Bees from the spectacular art trail enjoyed by thousands of residents and visitors to Manchester this summer are going up for auction to raise funds for the Lord Mayor of Manchester’s We Love MCR Charity.

With designs inspired by the city’s musical heritage, a Corrie homage, footballing tributes to the city’s clubs, artwork by renowned Manchester artists, plus high-profile support from Olympic champions, music A-listers, and Nobel Prize winning scientists, auction fever is set to make the city buzz with bidders digging deep to help leave a lasting legacy for the city.

Bids on the sculptures will start at £3,000-£5,000.  Bees inspired by Manchester’s musical heritage include ROCK ’N’ ROLL Bee designed with Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, a Hac ‘BEE’ enda Bee celebrating the legendary nightclub, and Bee Here Now featuring bands such as Joy Division and Happy Mondays.I Wanna Bee Adored is a zingy lemon-covered bee signed by Gary Mounfield aka Mani from The Stone Roses.

Hilda Bugden is expected to be a hit with Coronation Street fans. As well as enjoying her time on the art trail, the Bee has also been pictured with some of today’s stars of the cobbles.

It’s Manchester United vs. Manchester City as footballing tributes to famous clubs Bee United and Mike Summer-Bee go wing-to-wing at the auction.

Bidders may be star struck by Bee Live in MCR which features the signatures of The Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, the Foo Fighters, Billy Joel, the Gallagher brothers, Gary Barlow, The Courteeners and the Blossoms.

The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Bee features 80 signatures of scientists, researchers, engineers and teachers working in STEM from around the Greater Manchester area – including Kostya Novoselov, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010 for his achievements with graphene. It also contains portraits of mathematician Alan Turing, physicist Ernest Rutherford and Marie Stopes, a pioneer in the field of family planning.

Keen cyclists will be getting auction fever over I’d Rather Bee Cycling, a unique piece of art signed by Team GB Olympic champions, Laura Kenny and Elinor Barker.

Small in stature but making just as big an impact, there are four little Bees also hoping to raise lots of money for the Lord Mayor of Manchester’s We Love MCR Charity. Crown Jewels and Dazzle Bee are adorned with mosaic and precious stones. The Drip-bee has a fluid-like paint effect setting it apart.

Not too Shab-bee by Thomas Wolksi is anticipated to be a hit amongst his growing cult following of celebrity clients. It’s making a special appearance at The Lowry Hotel ahead of the auction.

Manchester mural artist and illustrator Hammo painted City in the Bee, which features a stylised Manchester skyline and portraits of Manchester residents. He also brought Benny the Bee to life, a cheeky character who featured on limited edition tea towels sold in the Bee in the City shop.

Manchester street art duo Nomad Clan in Manchester created The Federation Bee which carries their trademark brush strokes and striking design. Internationally renowned graffiti artist kELzO created ‘Bee Lieve’ in Manchester.

The Bee in the City Charity Auction will be hosted by Charles Hanson, auctioneer and antiques expert on TV’s Bargain Hunt, The Antiques Road Trip and Flog It!

“I’ve been privileged to see many incredible objects ‘go under the hammer’ but none more unusual than this stunning collection of Bees designed by established artists and ‘ones to watch!’” said Charles. “This is a fantastic opportunity to give a Bee a home and own an original piece of art to treasure as part of permanent memento of an unforgettable summer.”

The Bee in the City Charity Auction takes place on Wednesday 17th October 2018. For more information on the Bees available to buy at auction, you can download an auction catalogue from

Bidders can apply for auction tickets online and are encouraged to attend the Farewell Weekend exhibition (12th-14th October) to see all Bees together and take a closer look at the artwork.

Details of how to bid online for a Bee will be released closer to the time as applications for the auction are expected to be oversubscribed.


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