France: Bee defence
In the Middle Ages cities and castles, which were attacked, had the then common weapons to defend themselves: arrow and bow, lance or sword. From the walls boiling oil was thrown on the attackers. It will go to the modern beekeepers' heart, but also bees were brought into action for the defence of castle or city.
Hives füll of bees, keen on stinging the attackers, were dropped on their heads.
This medieval way of defending is illustrated on German emergency money from 1920. But not on a postal piece. Geraldine Forestier has found a place name on a telegram cover and this place name has a link to this medieval art of defence.
The postmark is from La Roche L'Abeille, dated 1947. In 1569 the catholic armies of the Duke of Anjou fought against the Protestant armies of Henri of Navarre (the future Henri IV). From this battle comes the legend that bees put to flight the soldiers of the attacking army. Since that time the city La Röche had added L'Abeille to its name.
from "The Postal Bee" 5/2009
Contact Group Bee Philately