Last week Paula Curless, Manchester City Council’s Pest Control Service Manager, and Keith Mather, the service’s main beekeeper, came to the Lord Mayor’s parlour with a very special early Christmas present for both Lord Mayor Cllr Tommy Judge and We Love MCR Charity.
MCC Pest Control definitely don’t treat bees as pests and haven’t for many years. When they get called out for bees they don’t get rid, they rescue them! Bee rescues are delicate efforts, with just couple days deadline as after that the swarm may not survive.
Bees often swarm in Spring looking for new places to call home, and this can lead to them ending up in strange places whilst following their Queen. You may have seen a massive swarm in Saint Peter’s Square this July, which the team safely brought back to Manchester City Council’s Hooper Street Depot. Those bees make a video appearance at the end of the article...
Hooper Street, where Pest Control are based, now has an impressive seven hives and the number grows with each rescue. Many team members have undertaken beekeeper training, proving the service’s fascination and respect for honey bees. Paula and Keith even have hives in their own gardens!
The industrious little creature has been synonymous with Manchester’s civic identity for near 180 years. The 1842 City coat-of-arms was the first recorded use of the bee worn by what we now know as Manchester City Council. So the Hooper Street hives have a claim to be producing the most officially Manc honey ever!
These rescued bees have produced a successful batch of honey for the first time this year. The team jarred, branded and gift-wrapped 100 batches that they sold for a fiver each across the service – choosing to donate the £500 proceeds towards We Love MCR’s work across the city. We’re definitely buzzing like bees about that!
Paula and Keith met the Lord Mayor, Mayoress, and Nick from the Charity for the handover of funds raised, also giving the Lord Mayor a jar. A promise was made to come down to Hooper Street next year – the sight of a Lord Mayor in full beekeeper get-up will be a memorable one!
Watch the video below to see the Saint Peter’s Square swarm marching into their new hive in Summer! Those bees went on to produce some of this brilliant batch of honey and will do the same next year.
Manchester City Council are a key strategic Partner of We Love MCR Charity. We pride ourselves on bespoke partnerships for progressive businesses in Manchester, to discuss this please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org