Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Praise Bee – industrious insects get the stamp of approval

2 July 2013


Praise Bee – industrious insects get the stamp of approval


They’ve been celebrated in verse (by the likes of Emily Dickinson[1], William Blake[2] and Kahlil Gibran[3]) – in song (by the likes of Gloria Gaynor[4], Blake Shelton[5] and Owl City[6]) – and in popular culture (with spelling bees, ‘Buzzy Bees’ and Wellington’s own ‘Beehive’). But the humble bee stands poised to get a new tribute this week, with the release of a special set of postage stamps.

The Honey Bees stamp issue celebrates the industrious insects on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the National Beekeepers' Association of New Zealand.

Honey bees, which are of European origin, have played a key role in New Zealand horticulture for over 150 years – pollinating essential crops and producing up to 12,000 tonnes of honey per annum, with as much as half of that being exported.

New Zealand Post’s stamps spokesman Simon Allison says the numerous species of native bees don’t make honey, prompting a Yorkshire-woman named Mary Bumby to bring the first honey bee hives to this country in 1839.

As Simon Allison explains, “Honey bees in this country are a sort of golden-amber colour, and shouldn’t be confused with the black and yellow striped bees you find in your garden, which are bumblebees.

“Bumblebees produce only a tiny quality of honey – enough for their own needs - and despite the similarity in names, have nothing to do with Mary Bumby. Entomology – and indeed etymology – can be very complex.

“Sadly honey bees in New Zealand are under threat as a result of the Varroa mite. This collectable stamp issue aims to raise awareness of the immeasurably valuable role that honey bees play in this country, and to do so by telling the story of how honey is made,” Simon Allison said.

The 70c stamp depicts the first step in making honey - the gathering of nectar – a task carried out by ‘field bees’ which fly from flower to flower using their long tongues like straws to extract nectar. The field bees store that nectar in their ‘honey sacs’, which can weigh almost as much as the bee itself when full. The honey sacs contain enzymes which break down the complex sugars of the nectar into simpler sugars.

The $1.40 stamp shows field bees returning to the hive - where they empty the nectar from their sacs into the cells in the honeycomb nearest to the entrance. A single hive can house thousands of honey bees, mostly workers – plus the queen bee.

The $1.90 stamp shows young worker ‘house bees’ transferring nectar to the honey storage area inside the hive. Enzymes are added to the nectar, which is then further concentrated by house bees fanning their wings to create an air current which dries the nectar into honey. Once the honey has a water content lower than 20% the bees seal off the cell in the honeycomb with a wax cap.

The $2.40 stamp shows beekeepers removing the combs from the hives to harvest the honey. These combs are spun in a centrifuge to separate the honey without damaging the hives or hurting the bees.

The fifth and final stamp in the set – valued at $2.90 – shows a block of pure honey – which is then processed and packaged into the familiar jars and pottles we see on supermarket shelves.

The five gummed stamps are also available as a collectable miniature sheet, as first day covers and in a special presentation pack.

The Honey Bees stamp issue is available from Wednesday 3 July 2013 at PostShops, REAL Aotearoa stores, and online at www.nzpost.co.nz/honeybees or by phoning 0800 782 677.

(ends)


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Future Brighter Money: RBNZ Releases New Bank Note Designs

New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year. More>>

ALSO:

Commerce: Supermarket Inquiry Finds No Breaches By Countdown

The Commerce Commission inquiry into anti-competitive behaviour by Countdown supermarkets, alleged by former Labour Party MP Shane Jones, has found nothing to warrant prosecution, although it warns supermarkets to take care in the way they communicate... More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: English Flags ‘Challenge’ To Budget Surplus

Finance Minister Bill English is warning next month’s half yearly fiscal and economic update from the Treasury may not forecast a budget surplus, saying that returning the government’s accounts to surplus in 2015 will be “a challenge”, given the decline in commodity prices and weak global inflation. More>>

ALSO:

March 2015: Netflix To Launch In Australia And New Zealand

World’s Leading Internet Television Network to Offer Original Series, Movies, Documentaries, Stand-Up Comedy Specials and TV Shows for Low Monthly Price More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese (Is Up): Dairy Product Prices Fall To Five-Year Low

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction to the lowest level in more than five years, led by declines in rennet casein and skim milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Australians Scoring Trade Points Against Us With The Chinese

It hasn’t been a great year for Trade Minister Tim Groser... To top it off, Australia has just signed a FTA with China that has far better provisions on dairy exports than what New Zealand currently enjoys in our own FTA with China. More>>

ALSO:

Iwi & Local Consultation: Oil And Gas Block Offer 2015 Begins

Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges today announced the start of the Block Offer 2015 process for awarding oil and gas exploration permits. More>>

Industrial Action: Stats NZ Throwing Public Money Away Duplicating Data

The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ are throwing money away by collecting the same data twice for official statistics such as the Consumer Price Index... As part of the ongoing industrial action, field interviewers who are PSA members are continuing to collect data, but are not sending it through to Statistics NZ. More>>

ALSO:

Other Stats:

Space: Rosetta's 'Philae' Makes Historic First Landing On A Comet

After more than a decade traveling through space, a robotic lander built by the European Space Agency has made the first-ever soft landing of a spacecraft on a comet. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news