moremoth's picture

Bee Orchid.

Observed: 18th June 2012 By: moremothmoremoth’s reputation in Plantsmoremoth’s reputation in Plantsmoremoth’s reputation in Plantsmoremoth’s reputation in Plantsmoremoth’s reputation in Plants
Bee Orchid.
Description:

Orchid with flowers that resemble a bee, slightly.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera) interacts

Comments

Syrphus's picture

The real resemblance to a bee

The real resemblance to a bee is in its scent, which mimics that of a female solitary bee. The males come along blinded with lust, and in their attempts to mate with this 'female bee' do the business of pollen transfer (which of course is what flowers are all about).

M.

TRY

recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on www.hbrg.org.uk/TRY.html.

moremoth's picture

Bee

I've been told that these are all self-pollinated, and that the bee that it evolved to partner with has been extinct since the last ice age. But then I looked it up on Wikipedia, where it says: "pollination by the solitary bee Eucera occurs in the Mediterranean area" so maybe that was an over-simplification, applying to the UK. Considering how specialised these flowers are, it's lucky it can achieve self-pollination.

Bill Welch

Syrphus's picture

I think you are right about

I think you are right about the selfing in UK. I was really pointing out that the attraction to a bee is chemical, not visual.

M.

TRY

recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on www.hbrg.org.uk/TRY.html.