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Sunday, 20 September 2020

Irish Native Bees

Fauna and Flora ─ Native Irish Bees


In July, we will release four new stamps in tribute to some of the hardest little workers on our earth: Bees.

In Ireland, as elsewhere, bees help to pollinate crops, forests and native plants. That makes them ecologically invaluable but also commercially significant as those crops contribute to our economy and to employment. Even as a commercial sector in its own right, beekeeping, food production and products are worth €53m a year to the Irish economy, according to a recent study.

Today, bees are faced with serious threats to their survival and not just from pollutants and pesticides but from habitat loss, hunger, pests and disease.

Improving awareness can make all the difference and for this reason An Post has commissioned stamps from Oonagh Young Design HQ in Dublin on the topic of Native Irish Bees.

Oonagh has based her designs on illustrations by botanical artist Shevaun Doherty. These feature a Bumble Bee, a Heather Bee, a Tawny Mining Bee and an Ashy Mining Bee. All of these bees are native to Ireland: Bumble Bees, of course, can be found all around the world living in colonies of as few as 50 but always with one queen. As with all bees, they feed on nectar and will usually ignore humans and other animals.