Herman ten Have, Meeden/Netherlands pointed out to me a sheet with self adhesive stamps of RegioPost in Friesland, Netherlands. One of the 10 stamps on the sheet is a beekeeper working with his bees in a rape field. The name of the beekeeper is known: Mr. Koster living in Kollemerzwaag.
What can we do with it ? If you like the picture, of course, you can always buy the sheet. The New Issue Service of The Postal Bee offers you the possibility to order for the sheet. Price: 3 euro. Or you can order by yourself: www.regiopost.com or Regiopost, Singelweg 12, 9291 ML Kollum, Netherlands.
What can you do with the sheet as a conscientious topical collector ? Stricktly: nothing. RegioPost is a private office, earning their money with the delivery of bulk post in the provinces of Friesland, Groningen and Drente. For that delivery stamps are not necessary. RegioPost make stamps hoping for mail from the ordinary people. The difference between their postal rate and the national rate of the TPGpost is 28 eurocent versus 39 eurocent.
You have to go to one of the 44 service points of RegioPost. As said the delivery is only possible in 3 provinces. Maybe you profit in the cases of notification of marriage, death messages, birthday cards, etc. But my conclusion is that most of the stamps are printed for collectors.
As a topical collector you can always say, that this beekeeper in a rape field is really the only issue you could find on a stamp. Need has no law. So rarely you can use such issues in a topical collection mentioning the stamp is issued by a private office.
What RegioPost is doing, is also legal. Since PTT post lost its state monopoly (and changed the name into TPGpost) everyone can deliver mail in Netherlands
by Jan de Crom
taken from "The Postal Bee" 1/2004
Contact Group Bee Philately