GPO buzzin’ as New Queen takes up residence
July 13th, 2018: For generations, Dubliners could meet their ‘Honey’ at the GPO. That’s taking a whole new twist with a new set of honeycomb – shaped stamps celebrating Ireland’s native bees and a new colony about to take up residence at Ireland’s best known landmark.
- New ‘honeycomb’ stamps marked by new postal bees
- An Post joins a worldwide effort to attract bees back to urban centres
- “When the seagulls move out, the honey bees are moving in”
Four new €1 stamps designed by Dublin’s Design HQ, based on illustrations by botanical artist Shevaun Doherty, pay tribute to the hardest working insects on the planet and in particular Ireland’s native Bumble Bee, Heather Bee and rarer Tawny Mining and Ashy Mining bees. They are produced in an unusual hexagonal format mirroring the cell structure of a bee hive.
Also available at main post offices, Dublin’s GPO and online at www.irishstamps.ie is a beautiful mini-sheet of the four stamps and a unique first day cover envelope.
In tandem with the new stamps, a colony of honey bees is about to take up residence on the roof of the landmark building as An Post champions the cause of the hard pressed creator of hive and honey.
An Post’s Head of Procurement and Fingal North Dublin Beekeepers Association, Paula Butler explains how An Post has been preparing a section of the GPO roof to become home to a colony of honey bees:
“We had drones delivering parcels last week and we’ll have more drones helping worker bees make the best of honey this week! An Post is joining a world-wide movement to reintroduce bees to urban spaces. We have prepared a nice private area of the GPO roof and our hardworking guests will arrive shortly – we had to wait for some ‘teenage’ seagull chicks to leave their nest so that our honey bees’ hive could be installed.
“We expect they’ll take their pollen from within a 2km radius so the O’Connell Street lime trees, the grounds of Trinity College, Dublin Castle and the Garden of Remembrance are all within their flight path. It will be interesting to compare the honey to that from other parts of the City.
“Bee-keeping is a fascinating hobby; incredibly interesting, totally relaxing and with the added bonus of a great end-product,” Paula concluded.
Internationally bees face an uncertain future as they battle for survival in the face of pollutants, pesticides, habitat loss and climate change. In Ireland, bees are of vital importance to Ireland’s biodiversity and economy. An Post’s new stamps will drive awareness of the native species which contribute some €53m to the Irish economy each year.