Happy Mondays' Bez buzzing about urban bee campaign: 'I'm a full-time honey monster'

Band's sidekick speaks about newfound love for beekeeping

Happy Mondays' Bez buzzing about urban bee campaign: 'I'm a full-time honey monster'

Photo: Vic Frankowski/NME

Happy Mondays sidekick Bez is backing an urban bee scheme in Manchester.

The maraca-shaking mascot, real name Mark Berry, has described himself as a "full-time honey monster" after he helped install two beehives on the roof of Manchester venue The Printworks.

As the BBC reports, Britain's honey bee population is in decline due to the adverse weather conditions of a prolonged winter and a rain-sodden summer. But Bez, who now lives part-time on the Cwm Yr Hoel Farm commune near Swansea, where he first learnt to keep bees, said: "It has been a big part of our family life since my granddad came back home from the war with four tins of honey."

"It's magical really because the bees have been around since the days of the dinosaurs," he added. "They are a great part of our diversity." In addition to the two hives at The Printworks, a further four have been installed on the roof of Manchester Cathedral to help boost numbers.

According to The Independent, meanwhile, Bez was able to purchase his first hive for just £50 off "some fella" – a sizeable discount from the usual £800 price. He did say that his newfound hobby hadn't been without its drawbacks, however: on one occasion, around 100 bees got inside his pants and stung him badly when he left his trouser zip undone. He was forced to run into the woods to escape the hive, but was still "stung everywhere", inside his trousers.

Bez isn't the only musician to throw his support behind the honey bee. In 2009, Beady Eye singer Liam Gallagher backed a campaign to save the species from extinction after honey helped him cure a throat virus. "The bees are vanishing. We've got to save them before they all buzz off. It's important. It's a really worthwhile cause," he said. "Without them we're in proper bother."

Read More On This Artist

Happy Mondays Merchandise
More News
Nicki Minaj considered axing tour following murder of crew member
Paul McCartney confirms 2015 UK tour, including London's The O2 – O2 Priority Tickets
Zane Lowe closes final Radio 1 show with Queens Of The Stone Age track
Footage emerges of Florence + The Machine playing new songs live - watch
Super Furry Animals add second Manchester show to May tour
Kurt Cobain's childhood home up for sale
Tobias Jesso Jr. shares new song 'Without You' with Danielle Haim - listen
#thankszane trends as Arctic Monkeys, Biffy Clyro and more pay tribute to Zane Lowe
Metallica's Lars Ulrich says band's new album is 'pretty close' to being written
50 Cent claims Suge Knight 'wanted to kill Dr Dre' in the 1990s
Antemasque throw boiling water at fans during festival performance
Björk to play first European gig since release of new album at Manchester International Festival
Left-wing writer Owen Jones to support Paloma Faith in London and Brighton
Palma Violets play raucous London show to close NME Awards Tour 2015 with Austin, Texas
Secondary ticket websites promise to become more transparent
The Strokes deny rumours that they will perform at Glastonbury this year
Method Man on Wu-Tang Clan's 'Once Upon A Time In Shaolin': 'Fuck that...
Pharrell Williams: 'I was inspired by Miley Cyrus, not Marvin Gaye, when I wrote...
Major Lazer premiere new track 'Lean On', featuring DJ Snake and MØ - listen
Brandon Flowers, Norah Jones and Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino to play at Brian Wilson...
Noel Gallagher mixes new tracks and old favourites at Dublin's 3Arena
Florence + The Machine debut three new songs at intimate London show

More News


Please login to add your comment.

Latest Tickets - Booking Now
Know Your NME

NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM