A Scion Society of The Baker Street Irregulars
“… he has definitely retired from London and betaken himself to study and bee-farming on the Sussex Downs.”
– The Adventure of The Second Stain (SECO)
The Cook Islands have partnered with CIT – Coin Investment Trust to issue a 2014 five dollar coin featuring the honey bee. We know that Holmes retired to a life of bee-farming in SECO, but there are two other references to the honey bee in the Canon. Holmes, disguised as Altamont, presents Von Bork with his Practical Handbook of Bee Culture in the story, His Last Bow. Later, in The Dying Detective, crusts of beeswax around Holmes’ lips help create the appearance that he is dying.
Only 2,000 of the coins were made and were sold out. They are now only available in the secondary marketplace. Struck in .925 fine silver, the coins are partially gilded and colored, and have a proof finish. The coins weigh 25 grams and measures 38.61 millimeters. There is a security hallmark below the bee’s tail.
From the coin’s factsheet:
Laser technology has become an indispensable tool in numerous branches of industry and is ideally suited to create intricate detail and matt finish on metal surfaces. We strikingly demonstrate the possibilities of laser surface refinement on our newest release – the Shades of Nature Honey Bee.
Bees are pure herbivores and sustain themselves almost exclusively on sweet nectar. They collect albuminous pollen as nourishment for their larvae. Some species even set aside food reserves so that the whole bee colony is able to survive during food shortage periods.
Only the female bee has a venomous sting which is also called its defence thorn. During the course of evolution this tool developed from the egg laying organ. The sting is used to lay eggs, as well as for defence purposes. The bee’s ecological importance is immense since it not only produces tons of honey, but is also the most important pollinator worldwide. Therefore, the continuing depletion of the bee population could have serious consequences for mankind. Not only biodiversity but also our successful harvest is therefore endangered. According to calculations, the reduction in bee numbers could lead to annual financial losses of billions of Euros.