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Published on August 18th, 2015 | by Rob Stebbings

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Latest Special Stamps Release Creates A Real Buzz

Vital in the pollination of food crops, it is apt that The Bees of Britain collectible stamps have been issued to coincide with National Honey Bee Day which is this week.

Bumblebees, Honeybees and solitary bee species are the unsung heroes of Britain’s ecology: pollinating our food crops, keeping farms in business and enabling our parks, gardens and countryside to thrive.

There are around 250 species of bee living in the UK and six of these giving a representation of what can be found in different parts of the country are depicted in the Bees Presentation Pack which is available here at the Post Office Shop: namely the Scabious Bee, Great Yellow Bumblebee, Northern Colletes Bee, Bilberry Bumblebee, Large Mason Bee and the Potter Flower Bee.

First Class stamp – the Great Yellow Bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus) species showcased in the Postage Stamp Book has dramatically declined in numbers but remains prevalent in northern Scotland where it feeds on clover, vetch and knapweed.

Bees Great yellow Bumblebee Stamp

Second Class stamp – the Scabious Bee (Andrena hattorfiana) is a solitary bee named after the scabious flowers for which it is dependent on.

Bees Scabious Bee Stamp

£1.00 stamp – the Northern Colletes Bee (Colletes floralis) species is relatively rare having been rediscovered in Northern Ireland in 2003 after last being recorded there 70 years earlier.

Bees Northern Colletes Bee Stamp

£1.33 stamp – the Bilberry Bumblebee (Bombus monticola) species, also often referred to as the mountain bumblebee, is found mostly in higher altitudes of north-eastern England as well as south-western England and Wales.

Bees Bilberry Bumblebee Stamp

£1.52 stamp – the Large Mason Bee (Osmia xanthomelana) is Britain’s rarest solitary bee found only at two sites in Wales.

Bees Large Mason Bee Stamp

£2.25 stamp – Completing the set of stamps, the Potter Flower Bee (Anthophora retusa) found only at a few locations in south-eastern England in dunes, cliffs and commons.

Bees Potter Flower Bee Stamp

Produced in association with the British Beekeepers Association and Simon Potts, professor of biodiversity and ecosystem services at Reading Unviersity, these Bees stamps were designed by artist Richard Lewington, from Appleton in Oxfordshire.

Bridges Pack artwork revised.indd
To coincide with the launch of these collectible stamps which also includes Bees Stamp Cards, as of today, until 25th August, a special postmark on all stamped UK mail will read ‘BUZZ, BUZZ, New Stamps Explore British Bees’.

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