Bee Yourself! That most important of the world’s insects gets a new silver coin from Cameroon

There have been a few bee themed coins in recent years, and they’ve maintained a surprisingly high standard. The New Zealand Post issued a very popular piece back in 2016, and followed that up with a Manuka Honey coin a year later. The Bank of Latvia issued a fine piece, and AllCollect also. Powercoin had a strikingly original piece in late 2020 that raised the bar as well. Now the Mint of Poland is celebrating this industrious and critical part of the world’s ecosystem.

A one ounce fine silver coin with plenty of gilded areas on both faces, it is said by the mint to mark the work of beekeepers in particular. The reverse face has a high-relief bee taking pride of place. which is almost fully gilded. There’s a honeycomb pattern to the left, partially gilded, and the rest of the background depicts some flora – a key part of the bee lifecycle.

The obverse carries on with the honeycomb theme, with a large hexagon space carrying the issue inscriptions, not in a particularly attractive way, we have to say. Overall, a good looking coin, but one with some very tough competition. Packaging looks decent, with the coin displayed in a latex ‘floating’ frame, and it has a mintage of 500 pieces. Available to order now.

HONEY BEE

Closely related to ants and wasps, Honeybees are social insects of the genus Apis. They’re most famous for their production and storage of honey, and for their importance in the pollination of plants. While there are only 7 species of Honey Bee (from a bee species roster exceeding 20,000), their domestication has made them ubiquitous and they’re found on every continent except Antarctica.

A bee hive is focused around a single queen, attended by hundreds of drones and thouands of workers. Workers forage for nectar and pollen from flowers, the former of which is used to produce honey. Stored in hexagonal cells and capped with wax to keep it fresh, the honey is consumed by the bees when needed.

Honey is a mix of water (80-95%) and sucrose (5-20%). A protein enzyme called invertase in the bees honey stomach, breaks the sucrose down into two components, fructose and glucose. When around 75% of the water has been dehydrated out of the new mixture, honey is formed. Honey, along with pollination, means bees are incredibly important to the ecosystem, and to the human food supply.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION 1,000 Francs CFA (Cameroon)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 32.0 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, Gilding
MINTAGE 500
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes
MINT OF POLAND