Thursday, 27 June 2013


Only one thing to report this morning, that of the positive orchid-fest we encountered as we walked around Shipley Park.  We thought we would see if the Bee Orchids (Ophrys apifera) were in flower yet and were not disappointed.  A plethora of Bee Orchids awaited us.
Finding any orchid is always something to make your day, but when you see thousands, gathered together in one place, it's a day to remember.
It may have something to do with the unusual weather conditions this year and the very late spring, but we have never seen so many orchids as there are this season.  Bee Orchids are not rare in Britain, but their distribution around the country is rather 'hit-and-miss'.  where they do appear, they can be very common - as indeed, they are here.
The scientific name 'Ophyrus' comes from the Greek word for eyebrow, while 'apifera' means bee and refers to the bee-like lower lip of the flower.  In an effort to get itself pollinated, the flower resembles a female bee to entice a male bee.  It also emits a chemical signal, making it almost irresistible to the poor male bee who thinks he's in for a good time, buts get nothing for his trouble.
There will be more orchids to come - you can be sure of that.
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