Australia is home to at least 2,000 species of native bees exhibiting a diverse range of physical and behavioural characteristics. Two remarkable breeds, the blue neon cuckoo bee and orange-and-black wasp-mimic bee, are featured on this postal numismatic cover. The blue neon cuckoo bee’s metallic blue sheen and slick black wings make it one of the most striking Australian bees, reflected in its scientific name which means ‘a little shiny’. The orange-and-black wasp-mimic bee disguises itself as a wasp for protection, even holding its wings in a wasp-like V-shape when it lands. Its imitation is so flawless that it was misidentified when it was first discovered.
The coin’s reverse depicts a coloured image of the blue neon cuckoo bee at rest on a pink flower and the orange-and-black wasp-mimic bee on a white flower.
Each envelope features two $1 Australia Post stamps portraying the blue neon cuckoo and orange-and-black wasp-mimic bees.
Postal Numismatic Cover
The coloured envelope portrays the two bees against a delicately blended background image of orchids. The collectable is marked with a themed bee postmark denoting the first day of issue, 14 May 2019, and the apt place of issue, Werribee Victoria 3030.