Around the place

Around the place
just mooching

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Bee orchid

Bee orchids in County Durham

The life cycle depends on so many variables it is very difficult to predict where they will bloom from year to year. If the fungi does not occur in the soil the seed cannot germinate because they spend their early life in a symbiotic relationship with each other.
In Britain, Bee orchids are at the northern edge of their range. It is too cold for the species of bee that pollinates them in southern Europe. They get round this problem by self-pollinating.
However the bee orchid is declining. Orchids, of many different kinds, have declined right across England. In the past, orchids have been picked for their attractive flowers. In the case of the bee orchid the single flower is the culmination of up to 8 years growth and, if picked, the plant is unlikely to flower again and has lost its only chance of producing seeds.
Bee orchids can also vary in size and structure within different colonies due to the reproductive behaviour with slight changes or mutations within the genes of the parent plants been passed on though asexual reproduction.