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Pitcairn Islands Study Center

News - October 13, 1999

Contact Study Center:

PHONE: 707-965-6244
TEXT:   707-229-1340

Contact Herb Ford:
PHONE: 559-592-0980 or

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  [California Study Center]


PITCAIRN ISLANDS STUDY CENTER, Pacific Union College, Angwin, California USA.

Herbert Ford, 559-592-0980, 559-732-0313.


                        ANGWIN (Napa County) Calif., October 13, 1999—Pitcairn Island, South Pacific Ocean, has offered for sale the world's first hexagonal, pressure-sensitive postage stamps.

                        The "honey bees" series of four stamps, issued in August and September, 1999, are among the most colorful Pitcairn adhesives ever produced. They highlight the island's latest attempt at commercial export of a product.

                        While other countries have printed hexagonal stamps, none have previously pro-duced hexagonals that are pressure-sensitive as are the new Pitcairn issue.

                        The new series, of 20c, $1.00, $1.80 and $3.00 denominations, was designed by artist Sue Williams, who is the wife of Mr. Martin Williams, Governor of the Pitcairn islands.

                        Although bees were introduced to Pitcairn more than three decades ago, by the early 1970s the island's bee population had died out. Then in1978 and 1992, bees of an Italian yellow strain were imported.

                        Today more than 60 hives of bees may be found on the island, producing a honey which the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has found to be an exceptionally pure product. It is hoped that export of Pitcairn honey will bring a steady income to the islanders.

                        Pitcairn's next definitive stamp issue, its first stamps of the new millennium, will be printed in 2000. Having a botanical theme, the next stamp issue is expected to be produced by Mrs. Williams.