Bee orchid

Bee orchids flower during the summer

The bee orchid gets its name from its main pollinator. In order to attract pollinating bees, the plant has evolved bee-like flowers. Sadly, the right species of bee isn't found in the UK, so like the rest of the country, the ones on the Commons are self-pollinating.

The bee orchid can be found on open, southerly facing grasslands on the Commons that have been tightly grazed by the cattle. Their survival relies on the cattle disturbing the ground.

The bee orchid gets its name from its main pollinator
The bee orchid gets its name from its main pollinator
The bee orchid gets its name from its main pollinator

Flowers

The flowers are quite large for an orchid. The flowers have pink sepals that look just like wings and furry, brown lips that have yellow markings just like a bee.