It’s been a while since I last walked through Red House Farm, last night I walked the dog through the area and was pleased to find it carpeted in wild flowers. One in particular caught my attention.
The Bee OrchidOphrys apifera.
This was the first time I’ve seen this species, making it even more special that I found it on patch! I could only find two plants in the immediate area.
Instantly recognisable the Bee Orchid appears to have a bumble bee resting on its petals, this is in fact the lip of the flower, adapted with the purpose of attracting a male bee to pollinate the flower. The false bee resembles a female bee, which male bees are attracted to, and in turn try to mate with the false flower, which allows the transference and pollination of the plant. Although it is written that in British Bee Orchids the plants usually pollinate themselves.
By Cain Scrimgeour