Some of Australia’s native bees are set to appear on a striking commemorative stamp issue to be released by Australia Post this May.
Speaking on the stamp release, Australia Post Philatelic Manager Michael Zsolt said it was an opportunity to learn about the diversity of Australia’s native bees.
“We have a great diversity of native bees and they play an important role as pollinators of native flora. These beautiful stamps remind us of how integral the often solitary native bee is, and they’ll be of interest to nature lovers and collectors alike.”
The four domestic base-rate ($1) stamps feature artwork from renowned Australian wildlife illustrator Kevin Stead and include:
$1 Resin Bee (Megachile macleayi)
The Resin Bee, from the family Megachilidae, builds its nest in narrow holes in timber, constructing the nest and sealing the entrance with gums and resins it collects from leaves and plants. This solitary bee, which is found across northern Australia, prefers nectar from legume flowers.
$1 Green and Gold Nomia Bee (Lipotriches australica)
From the family Halictidae and found throughout eastern Australia, the solitary Green and Gold Nomia Bee nests in the ground. After looking for mates and foraging for nectar during the day, clusters of numerous male bees spend the night clinging or “roosting” together on tree twigs or grass stems.
$1 Wasp-mimic Bee (Hyleoides concinna)
The solitary Wasp-mimic Bee from the family Colletidae can most frequently be seen feeding from eucalypt flowers in eastern Australia from southern Queensland to Tasmania. It convincingly disguises itself as a black and orange wasp in order to fool and deter predators.
$1 Neon Cuckoo Bee (Thyreus nitidulus)
The striking, bright metallic blue Neon Cuckoo Bee from the family Apidae is so named because it opportunistically lays its eggs on the pollen balls inside the ground nests of the Blue-banded Bee (Amegilla cingulata). This solitary cleptoparasitic bee, which has no need to collect pollen from flowers, is found across eastern and northern Australia.
Products associated with this issue include first day cover; stamp pack, medallion cover, booklet collection and booklet of 10 x 4 $1 self-adhesive.
The stamp and associated products are available at participating Post Offices, via mail order on 1800 331 794, and online at auspost.com.au/stamps, from Tuesday 14 May 2019 while stocks last.