Previously on TQUK EPA, we paid homage to the bee in all its brilliance and beauty.

This time, we’re going to explain why TQUK draws so much inspiration from the honey bee. How they live and operate is so much like how we see ourselves.

It shouldn’t be surprising that TQUK loves the bee. We’re not the first people to think honey bees are great. Humans have loved bees for ages, so much so that they are the oldest human-domesticated insect, with the first civilisation to do so being the ancient Egyptians. Honey bees also have a long history of representation of Western culture. Hieroglyphs of bees can be found carved into ancient Egyptians stone monuments. The bee was also used as a symbol of government by Napoleon and was royal emblems of the Merovingians.

Moving closer to our home of Manchester, the city of Salford incorporated the honey bee into its coat of arms in 1844, representing the industriousness of the area of Greater Manchester and its inhabitants.

But you don’t have to go deep into history to find evidence of the bee being used as a symbol for the city of Manchester.

For quite some time, the honey bee has adorned the bottles and cans of Boddington’s beer, one of the oldest, most popular and most successful breweries in Manchester, established in 1778. You can also find mosaics of bees laid into the stonework of pavements in the city centres, and bees embossed on everything from rubbish bins to train platforms. It has particularly been appropriated by many pubs, bars and restaurants in the city. The bee can be found on the clock face of the Palace Hotel, above the arches of the Links of London. Urban beekeeping even occurs on top of the roof of The Printworks.

There was a more urgent reason, though, why we adopted the bee for our logo. After the events of May 22, 2017, it became common for Mancunians all over the city, in a show of solidarity, to tattoo the Manchester bee on an arm, a leg or a shoulder. It truly showed how proud so many people are to be from this great city of ours, and how willing they were to stand shoulder to shoulder with their fellow men and women.

Manchester Bees adorn the city’s public transport system

TQUK’s proud to be born and bred in Manchester and so adopting the bee as our logo was a natural move. And once we adopted the bee, we began to think about the bee. And we began to realise that there are certain attributes of bees that we recognise in ourselves – attributes we have tried to instil in The Hive.

Firstly, every organisation must have a collective aspect to it in order to function. Bees represent, for many and for us, the pinnacle of collective efficiency.

Secondly, just like the humble honey bee, The Hive sends out swarms of assessors all over the UK, bringing out the nectar – the apprentice’s fully developed skills.

Thirdly, The Hive as been dedicated to continuous expansion and growth. Just as the honey bee is continuously expanding its colony and searching for new opportunities and resources, so too is The Hive searching for more organisations to work with to disseminate our love for education assessment.

But fourthly, and perhaps most importantly, we are all working towards a positive and collective future. Whilst The Hive is a business, and must operate as a business does, what drives us is a desire to ensure apprentices receive the highest quality education possible and that employers receive the most capable employees they can. When an apprentice receives a quality education and an employer receives a quality apprentice, prosperity will follow.

If you want to keep up to date with the latest news from The Hive, return to our blog or follow us on Twitter.

We’ll see you around the honeycomb!


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