Belongs to: orchid family

Bee orchid Ophrys apifera

Best time to see: Jun to Jul

Key facts

Orchid that mimics a bumble bee, found in grassland and open scrub on alkaline soils

Male bees attempt to mate with the flowers, which provide no nectar, and as a result pollinate them

Scarce, like all orchids, but numerous in suitable sites; mobile, appearing and disappearing for no apparent reason


Sparsely leaved spikes with four to five flowers distributed up the stem

Pink sepals surround green petals and a red-brown bee-like lip

© Pat Allen

© Pat Allen