The Royal Mail’s bees – the Dartmoor connection

The Royal Mail have issued a series of stamps featuring bees.

RM Bee stamps

Here is the full set in their presentation pack which includes some text from the bee expert Dave Goulson, the bee stamps were painted by the wildlife artist Richard Lewington

RM Bilberry BB
The £1.33p stamp features the Bilberry Bumblebee (also known as the Mountain Bumblebee) Bombus monticola. The text accompanying this species says ‘Arguably Britain’s most handsome bumblebee with its large red bottom and yellow stripes, this is a creature of the uplands. It is still fairly common in Scotland, with scattered populations in the Lake District, Peak District, Wales and Dartmoor. Fond of bilberry flowers, it turns its attention to ling and heaths later in the year.’

I have found the bilberry bumblebee in the Teign Valley near Castle Drogo, at Hembury Woods and at Parke.

Mountain bumblebee 1
The bilberry or mountain bumblebee on heather in the Teign Valley

Mountain bumblebee
On a Buddleja in the Parke Walled Garden

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