The Manchester bee trail and Alan Turing

We spent last weekend doing the very impressive bee trail in Manchester. There are about 100 giant bees decorated by artists and 130 smaller bees decorated by schools so it’s quite a large trail that might keep you busy all summer long. I can’t remember Manchester ever having something like this before although, on our hunt, we were told by one random couple that they had some equally impressive cows a few years ago.

It’s such a fun family thing to do and I think I discovered little bits of Manchester I keep missing as some kind of blind spot. The weather was lovely and we started meeting lots of other friendly bee hunters along the way and talking about how beautiful the bees were, how hot and lovely the weather was and how it was such a nice thing to bring people together.

We only managed about 25 and really want to go back and find the rest, although we probably won’t find the ones scattered in the more suburban areas of Manchester.

If you do go then it’s best to not do it on a Sunday as some key places that contain some of the bees will be closed. I’m tempted to book a day off work to try and find another chunk of them! Along the way we bumped into Alan Turing sat on his bench in Sackville gardens, along with the bee designed in his honour. He was a big deciphering code breaking genius and played an instrumental part in World War II. We learnt a lot about him at uni and I’ve always been a bit of a fan, probably because he was essentially a hacker; something I always wanted to be but obviously am not (or am I? Haha). His achievements have always amazed me, and one day I intend to visit Bletchley Park to experience the full code breaking experience, as nerdy as that sounds. If you’ve watched the imitation game then you’ll know what I mean. For years I’ve been meaning to visit the little bench he sits on and finally, following the bees meant we got to say hello.

21 thoughts on “The Manchester bee trail and Alan Turing”

  1. The bees look so amazing, I can’t believe how many there are! I’m hoping to get to Bristol this week to hunt for some Gromits if the weather improves. I saw a program about Alan Turing a few months ago and I had never heard of him before but he really was a genius

  2. Hi Tas, hunting the bees sounds like a fun. I will admit that when I first read about it I did think it was hunting for live bees, which would also bee interesting (sorry couldn’t help myself!), but I thought sounded a rather odd thing to do as a family day out in Manchester. I do have a fascination for live bees, but these bees look so much more fun (and safe ) to hunt.


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  3. We’ve got a Hare trail in Norwich at the moment which I am loving, though I’m jealous of the Manchester Bees I keep seeing my friends pictures of them and they are fab. #MySundayPhoto

  4. Now they look fab! I’ve done a bear and sleuth hunt in Birmingham before, and recently we’ve had ducks in my hometown – Telford. But Bee’s in Manchester are fab! Wonderfully decorated too. Hope you enjoyed it!

  5. We spent a whole Summer tracking down Owls in Birmingham a few years ago, I think it took us about 5 trips and we still didn’t get them all. It was such fun though and a great excuse to just get out of the house. The Bees look fantastic, so clever. I love the Mr Ben one, he was a big favourite in my childhood years. I learned all about Alan Turing in Bletchley Park when we visited earlier this year. It’s a fascinating place and we didn’t get to see everything, it’s so big. We are planning a trip back this Christmas. I like to give the kids a different kind of Santa Visit each year, and at Bletchley they do a 1940s style one. I can’t wait. If you do visit Bletchley park, your tickets are valid for a whole year, so you can go back again for free 🙂

  6. We probably did the same part of the bee trail as you. I loved the Mr Bee’nn one. I’ve been to Bletchley but obviously ignored some of the information as I don’t know if I’ve heard of Turing!

  7. Wow, the bee trail is spectacular, so colourful and varied. It must be a great family fun outing to try and track as many bees as possible. I know of Alan Turing, and of his tragic fate, the way the British government treated him is a great shame and injustice.

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