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

Sparsely leaved spikes with four to five flowers distributed up the stem; pink sepals surround green petals and red-brown lip

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


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

  • Main photo
  • flower

Photo © Pat Allen

Photo © Pat Allen