The South African Post Office will issue a set of stamps titled “Bees for Africa” today, Wednesday July 12.
There is great concern in conservation circles about the dwindling number of honey bees mainly as a result of pollution and widespread use of pesticides.
This concern is justified. Bees are much more than just producers of honey.
They provide an essential pollination service to farmers. Without honey bees, thousands of plant species may die out and fruit and vegetable farming will become virtually impossible.
Honey bees pollinate about 50 types of crop across South Africa. The stamps are valid postage for small international letters, and as a result thousands of stamps creating awareness of bees and their plight will travel the world.
South Africa is home to the African bee and Cape bee.
The Cape bee is generally confined to the Cape fynbos regions and the African bee covers the region to the north of this area up to central Africa.
The stamp sheet and first day envelope were designed by Jessica Delaney, a student at The Open Window Institute for Arts and Digital Sciences in Centurion.
The stamps will be available from all major post office branches and can also be ordered via firstname.lastname@example.org
The cost is R9.15 a stamp.