A swarm of Mancunians are being inked with city symbol for crowdfunding appeal

Strong, hard working, industrious, cooperative, a survivor – the worker bee has been a symbol of Manchester's resilience and community for centuries.

Originally incorporated into the city coat of arms in 1842 - when the mills and factories of Manchester's revolutionary textile trade oft resembled hives - bees cover the arms' globe because the city's industry, its scientific achievements, and its political credo of Free Trade, had global influence. 

The bee also represents the city's togetherness, its solidarity, and following Monday's terror attack at Manchester Arena - which tragically killed 22 and injured up to 120 more - never has this symbol seemed more relevant.

In face of such an inconceivable tragedy, the people of Manchester pulled together as a swarm with almost instinctive acts of altruism, whether it be the queues outside blood banks, residents offering up free beds, or the dozens of fundraisers which have so far topped £3m.

Monies raised from the bee tattoos will be donated to victims and their families

A post shared by Joanne Beard (@jotivy) on

Now, as the city continues to grieve, some have found solace in the bee once more, seeking to permanently ink it onto their skin in tribute to the victims of Monday's bombing and as a defiant show of solidarity.

A Manchester-based tattoo collective are offering bee tattoos to customers for £50 over the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend, with funds raised being donated to victims and their families through a crowdfunding appeal.

Sam Barker, a tattoo artist from Stalybridge, first came up with the idea after watching the tragedy play out this week, and now many other tattooists across the region and beyond are following suit.

Chorlton's Sacred Art on Barlow Moor Road will open from 10am on Sunday 28 May to begin tattooing on a first come, first served basis. Other parlours such as Studio Inkwell in Stockport and Dragonsclaw Body Art in Altrincham have joined in, while others as far as Bournemouth, the Costa Blanca and even Australia are also said to be taking part.

Find a full list of parlours taking part in The Manchester Tattoo Appeal here.

Here's a few of our favourites so far...

A post shared by VॐN LॐNG (@vonlongtattoo) on
A post shared by @iris.suzanne on