Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Bee Orchid

This morning found us hunting for Bee Orchids on Shipley Park.
In recent years, we have noticed these gorgeous little plants spreading across the old overflow car parks of what is now Shipley Woodside Nature Reserve.
But this year, they really seem to have taken off.
In some areas, it was tricky trying to find somewhere to stand without treading on the delicate flowers.
Bee Orchids (Ophrys apifera) are supposed to attract pollinating bees with the promise of sex, only to disappoint the hapless little insects.  In Britain however, the particular species of bee which these Bee Orchids mimic, do not occur, so the orchids are self pollinating in this country.
Nevertheless, they are obviously quite successful in pollinating themselves - as these delightful and spreading little plants prove.
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