Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera)
Cambridgeshire, England, 1985

I came across this bee orchid at Fowlmere RSPB reserve.

Like other orchids, the bee orchid can only grow where a particular fungus is present in the soil. The bee-like structure is thought to have evolved as a means of duping amorous male bees into pollinating the flower, but this species is now largely self-pollinating.

As seeds may remain dormant for a decade, and the bee orchid flowers for one season only, it can be difficult to predict where this species will turn up next.

Bee Orchid