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Bombus Polaris, Arctic Bumblebee

on 2007 Canadian Commemorative Postage Stamp


Northern Philately & Postal Service


    On October 12, 2007, Canada Post issued the first set of low value definitives since 1999. These stamps feature five beneficial insects - on the 5¢ definitive is Bombus polaris, and Arctic bumblee that Canada Post called the "Northern northern bumblebee" in their press releases for the stamp issue. Bombus polaris is relied upon by a number of Arctic flowers and other plants for pollination, including Arctic poppies, Arctic roses, and several willow species.

    There are over 250 known species of bumblebee, most of which live in the Northern hemisphere. They are members of the bee genus Bombus, in the family Apidae. Bombus polaris, as well as a kleptoparasitic bumblebee, Bombus hyperboreus, can be found as far north as northern Ellesmere Island the northernmost occurrence of any eusocial insect. These bumblebees have a higher abdominal temperature than bumblebees that live in warmer climates, as well as dense fuzz that slows heat loss.