Bee Orchids (Ophrys apifera)

by Brian Scott October. 10, 2020 430 views

I walked in Kingley Vale, people told me about them, nope, never saw one. I walked in Plean Country park, loads of others but .... nary a Bee.

I've now lived in S Wales for 10 years. About three years ago, there appeared, on the triangle of ground opposite our house, three Bee Orchids and every year since.

Did they find me?

I don't think anyone else has noticed them.

There were a couple of slight colour variations with a very much paler plant and a clump of the darker.

The Bee orchid is a sneaky mimic - the flower’s velvety lip looks like a female bee. Males fly in to try to mate with it and end up pollinating the flower. Sadly, the right bee species doesn’t live here, so this orchid is self-pollinated in the UK.

They grow to a height of 15–50 centimetres (6–20 in) so are quite small, especially in long grass

I watched and photographed this clump for a couple of months, it was wonderful to have them right on my doorstep.

These were all taken in June / July this year (2020)

I found these had beautiful shape, design, colours, wonderful to shoot.

I'm hoping they'll be back next year.

British Orchids


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There are 8 comments , add yours!
Robin Fuller 8 months, 1 week ago

Beautiful flowers and excellent photos.

8 months, 1 week ago Edited
Brian Scott Replied to Robin Fuller 8 months ago

Thank you Robin, I was so pleased to spot them and so close to me!

8 months ago Edited
Adrian Morris 8 months, 1 week ago

Great pictures of a beautiful orchid. I have seen these in a local nature reserve but have never photographed them.

8 months, 1 week ago Edited
Brian Scott Replied to Adrian Morris 8 months ago

Maybe next year? They're pretty small but worth getting down to, I think

8 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab 8 months, 1 week ago

How beautiful. I don't think I have ever seen one of these Orchids.

8 months, 1 week ago Edited
Brian Scott Replied to Camellia Staab 8 months ago

Thank you Camellia, I'm pretty sure they're European only.

8 months ago Edited
Bob Chappell 8 months, 1 week ago

We had some growing (wild) in the nature area we set up in the school where I used to teach - until the builders arrived to add an extension . . .
They grow around our village, which is a 1960's 'designer village' in Cambridgeshire. There were quite a few this year.
Nice macros Brian.

8 months, 1 week ago Edited
Brian Scott Replied to Bob Chappell 8 months ago

Many thanks Bob, I was so chuffed to see them, they only appeared around 3/4 years ago, unless of course, I just hadn't noticed them before. Luckily, this is a tiny patch of ground out side our three houses, not all mine  smile so, they should be safe.

8 months ago Edited