In 2015 we made an important discovery as a company: Bees like d.fferent. I can see why – we are of course, a hive of activity (sorry, couldn’t resist!). Our summer was overrun by an almost constant invasion of the little buzzers.
Unfortunately lots of them became trapped and had to be rescued. I identified our guests as mainly Tree Bumblebees, Buff-tailed Bumblebees, Red Tailed Bumblebees and one little Heath Bumblebee. That’s at least four different Bumblebee species. Our last sighting was around the end of July.
I’m a bit of a bumblebee enthusiast, if you hadn’t guessed, and our mini invasion got me thinking about how much bees can affect our lives, even when they aren’t bombarding our desks.
So why am I telling you this?
Because I’m not the only one who thinks that more needs to be done to raise bee awareness.
The Royal Mail even have their own collection of stamps to do exactly that.
Researchers at the Royal Mail found that over half the UK population cannot name a single bee species despite the fact that 87% of us care enough to stock our gardens full of flowers especially for the little guys.
To that end, they issued some special edition stamps featuring our hard-working little pals to raise awareness. It features six species of bee and was created with designer Anna Ekelund and wildlife illustrator Richard Lewington.
When I was studying graphic design at college and university one of the most deceptively challenging briefs I received was to design stamps. It seems simple, but the diminutive surface area means that your design must be a mini masterpiece and successful designs are collected by millions of people world-wide.
The stamps are easy to appreciate whether you’re a bee nut or a design enthusiast and if you’re like me and you’re both, it’s even more impressive.
Why do bees even matter?
Bees are important pollinators of many of our wildflowers (80%) and high value agricultural crops (84%). This ‘free’ service bees provide is estimated to be worth £560 million per year to the UK economy. Without them we may find the price of many of our staple fruit and vegetables sky-rocketing. And unfortunately we may be loosing our bees sooner than you think – two species have already gone extinct in the UK in the last 80 years, and other species are becoming more rare.
So, next summer if you’re around the office and you see a furry little bumblebee wandering lonely as a cloud, give me a shout, I’ll take it out and pop it on some daffodils. Thanks!