NEW BRITAIN – Central Park is buzzing after eight of the 25 Bees Across New Britain were unveiled there on Tuesday. The bees will stay at the site for about six weeks.
“I’d like to officially welcome you to the unveiling of part one of the Bees Across New Britain project,” Mayor Erin Stewart said.
Stewart explained the importance of the Bees to the city by describing the city seal, which has a beehive surrounded by seven flying bees.
“Those seven bees represent seven industries that the city of New Britain was founded on,” Stewart explained. “Underneath that beehive there’s a slogan in Latin and when it’s translated it means industry fills the hive and enjoys the honey.”
In addition, Stewart said that the bees are a testament to the city’s “blue collar community.”
“They are honoring our past and commitment to our future of continuing to make New Britain a place where we can live, work and play, but making sure that there’s lots and lots of great fruitful jobs available for our working class community,” Stewart said. “These bees have a very long story behind them and we are very, very proud to be able to display them today.”
There was a black piece of cloth covering each Bee before they were unveiled. After a countdown, the person next to each Bee took the cloth off, officially revealing the final product to the public.
Stephen Hard, project manager for the Bees Across New Britain, thanked those who helped make the project a reality including the Public Works Department and Craig Frederick, the sculptor. He also thanked the Neighborhood Mutual Housing Services for donating the first floor of the Anvil Place for “The Hive,” were some artists have been painting their bees.
“I’d particularly like to thank Mayor Stewart, whose idea it was,” Hard said. “She asked me to implement it but it really was her drive, her enthusiasm and her interest in this project that made it possible.”
Hard said the most important people of the project are the artists.
“I cannot overstate how important their efforts, their creativity, their imagination, their hard work in making this happen possible,” Hard said.
Among the 25 Bees in the project there is a “Patriotic Bee,” a Bee for Hospital of Central Connecticut, a Bee for Hospital for Special Care and “Bee Heard” for the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford. The humorous Bee for Martin Rosol Meats is already on display at the business.
Jennifer Atkins painted the “Bee Healthy” for Hospital of Central Connecticut.
“I worked closely with them during four different renderings to come to an agreement for what they would like to see for a Bee to represent them,” Atkins said. “To make it unique and special, I decided to make it very feminine, classy, warm and friendly.”
Bee Healthy has big eyes, curly wings, a necklace and little decorative shoes with a bee design in the front.
Maryann Burns, executive director of the New Britain Symphony Orchestra said she was excited to see the unveiling of the Bees. She said her favorite part of the project was the community involvement.
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.