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This engraved and coloured coin showcases a beautiful aster sharing its pollen with an intricately detailed bumblebee. It is coin two in a series featuring coloured flowers and their "friends".
A Perfect Match: The Bumble Bee and the Aster
The North American species of Aster (reclassified in the 1990s to other genera, but still commonly known as asters) are flowering perennial herbs usually bearing striking blue, mauve, pink or white flowers. These lovely plants share an important symbiosis with bumble bees: the bees are one of the asters' key pollinators and for many bumble bees, asters are a major food source.
It is one of summer's iconic moments: a buzzing black-and-yellow bumble bee plodding heavily from delicate bloom to delicate bloom. A subgroup of the roughly 730 described species of bees (Apoidea: Anthophila) in Canada, bumble bees (genus Bombus), native to the Americas as well as Europe,
Asia and North Africa, are important pollinators crucial to the ongoing survival of many flowering plants. Bumble bees in particular engage in a practice known as "buzz pollination," where, clutching a flower's stamen with their jaws, they rapidly vibrate their wing muscles, loosening and scattering pollen. Bumble bees are among the most resilient types of bees and prefer temperate climates. Because they are generalists, gathering nectar and pollen from a wide variety of flowers (up to 20 flowers per minute), it is somewhat easier for them to survive environmental changes.
• Mintage: 20,000
• Painted 25¢ - Aster with Bumblebee