An American journalist has outraged members of the public who were caught up in the Manchester bombing after she mocked their symbolic bee tattoos, claiming ‘they are flies’.
Joan Meiners posted an image that was made up of different tattoos people had inked on themselves to remember those who had lost their lives during the terrorist attack on May 22 2017.
Ms Meiners, who describes herself as a ‘journalist/ecologist/athlete’ on her Twitter page said she was looking to set up a business where she offered to look at people’s bee tattoo designs, in order to determine whether or not they were actually bees.
On May 22, 2017, 22 innocent people lost their lives and 60 were injured at the end of an Ariana Grande concert after nuts and bolts were sent flying in the blast.
In a tweet posted on December 31 she said: ‘I’m considering starting a freelance business where I offer to look at your bee tattoo design and tell you whether or not it actually looks like a bee. What do you think? How much should I charge? Taxonomically, these are all flies.’
Joan Meiners posted an image which was made up of different bee tattoos people had inked on themselves
The image she posted is believed to be from an article which discussed why people had got the tattoos
In the tweet she included an image which appeared to have been taken from an article which was published on global non-profit Public Radio International just days after the attack, which discussed why people were getting the tattoos and why the worker bee has a special link to Manchester.
Bees have four wings, whereas the Manchester bee has just two.
Social media users have expressed their outrage at Ms Meiners and the tweet has since been retweeted over 250 times an has received a substantial amount of comments since it was published yesterday afternoon.
Many Twitter users urged Ms Meiners, who previously studied at the University of Florida, to take down the tweet.
Twitter users slammed Ms Meiners for her comments and some said bees were the wrong species to target
Another user posted a picture of a bee and explained why the Manchester bee is different
One added: ‘Hey why don’t you check out the article you pulled that photo from, and you might find an answer to why so many people have the exact same highly stylised tattoo. Smh.’
This is while another added: ‘Taxonomically, these little guys represent the symbolic capital and memories of a major terrorist incident in Manchester. It’s a figurative representation of the strength that makes a hive. I’ll “bee” nice – but it’s the wrong species to target for anatomical inaccuracy.’
Another reminded her the ‘they were all survivors of a bombing’ and that it ‘wasn’t the time for pedantry’.
One user replied to her tweet: ‘That specific design and photo set relates to solidarity in the face of a terrorist bombing. But yeah, knock yourself out.’
Many chose the worker bee as it has been a symbol of Manchester since the Industrial Revolution.
A year after the tragedy Ariana Grande got her very own bee tattoo and tweeted a black and white snap of the penny-sized inking tucked behind her left ear, with the caption: ‘Forever.’
Ariana Grande got her own bee tattoo a year after the attack at her concert in Manchester
Charlotte Campbell, 36, and partner Paul Hodgson both choose poignant, matching inks in memory of her daughter Olivia, who died in the blast
Olivia (pictured above) was killed in the attack and her mother got a tattoo to honour her
It is featured on public buildings across Manchester and is often associated with the community spirit of the city.
Days after the attack hundreds of Mancunians queued to get tattoos of the bee, including Charlotte Campbell, 36, and partner Paul Hodgson both choose poignant, matching inks in memory of her daughter Olivia, who died in the blast.
On May 26 2017 Members of the public were filmed outside the city’s Holier Than Thou tattoo centre as they waited in the scorching sun, while other parlours reported large numbers queuing for the design.
Minimum donations of £40 were taken from customers, but many were paying up to £100 for their bee tattoo, with all the money raised being donated to the Manchester Arena Victim’s Fund.
MailOnline has contacted Ms Meiners today, but has not yet received a response.
She posted the tweet at 3.31pm yesterday afternoon and then less than an hour later tweeted: ‘2020 Resolution: Consume less. Spend the savings on journalism!’
Some Twitter users then took this as an opportunity to tell Ms Meiners what they felt she should change in 2020, with one suggested she tried to ‘research more’.
Another said: ‘Apologise swiftly and from the heart, especially for shoddy research.’#
This is while on user said: ‘Definitely recommend you read ‘So you’ve been publicly shamed’ by @jonronson. Might explain what you’re experiencing.’
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BEE
Bees can be seen on many bollards and bins in Manchester
The bees symbolise the workers of Manchester during the industrial revolution, when the city’s hundreds of mills thrived.
Workers were often compared to busy bees in their hives as the city churned out mass production of cotton and other materials.
Now, the insects represent the hard work and togetherness of the city’s residents – qualities that were particularly apt in the wake of Monday’s devastating tragedy.
Taxi drivers offered free lifts in the aftermath of the deadly blast, hotels opened their doors to anyone trapped and emergency service personnel are still offered refreshments as they carry on their work.
The city has united in grief across a number of emotional vigils that saw thousands turn out to pay their respects.
Examples of the bee can be found on many Manchester landmarks, such as a bee-tiled mosaic floor at Manchester Town Hall, bee notches for each hour on the clock face at the Palace, as well as engravings above Lloyds bank and Links of London.
They are also commonly found on bins and, planters and and bollards.
The symbolic bees of Manchester painted on the side of a house in the city
Mark Berry, aka Bez, former member of Manchester band the Happy Mondays, holds a tray of honey bees on top of The Printworks. The Manchester Art Gallery and cathedral also promote urban beekeeping
The city’s coat of arms, which dates back to 1842, even has seven bees buzzing around on it.
Manchester Art Gallery, the city’s cathedral and the Printworks all have produce their own honey from rooftop hives.
Some mill owners even named their buildings ‘Beehive Mills’ – such as the site of now-world famous nightclub Sankeys.