Bees in space
Recently two stamps were issued which show, in a totally different way, bees in space. Besides these two stamps there was a souvenir sheet showing animals - among them honeybees - in space.
First a stamp of Paraguay. On 24.09.2001 Paraguay issued 3 stamps with the theme "mythology of Guarani Indians". Three examples are of what these Indians see in the firmament. The Milky Way is the way of a tapir to a watering place; a sun or moon eclipse is a Jaguar taking a victim (Information: Magazine "Filatelie" Jan. 2002).
The most interesting stamp is value 100. On it is the constellation Pleiads. In this constellation the Guarani Indians see bees and honeycomb. These bees cannot be European Melfiferas, because they were only introduced in the 20th century in South America. In my opinion it must be stingless bees.
Second: a Liechtenstein stamp of 07.09.2001. The stamp tells the story of Liechtenstein gymnasium students, which in 1999 took the opportunity to participate in a NASA project, the American space travel organization.
The students investigate the behaviour of a carpenter bee here on earth and in the weightless situation of space. They have chosen for a carpenter bee (Xylocopa sp.), tiving in the dessert of Arizona. It will happen Summer 2002: "spice bees" will be sent into space. The expectation is that the first results will be known in 2003.
The 90 Rp stamp is also available in a sheet of twenty stamps. On the sheet margin are the names of the students (in their own handwriting). And also: 'investigation of 5 A class of the Liechtenstein gymnasium' and 'Bees in space; the investigation project "Spice Bees in Space" holding the investigation of bees in a weightless Situation.
Finally: there is another experiment in space with honeybees. It is memorated on a Souvenir bloc of The Republique Federale Islamique des Comores. Its notation in Michel catalogue: emission 30.03.1992; bloc 368 with stamp 991.
In the margin of the bloc to the left of the honeybees is written: study of the honeybees and of the symmetry of honeycomb in space - Navette (USA).
by Jan de Crom
taken from "The Postal Bee" 2/2002
Contact Group Bee Philately