The Bee Orchid has made a comeback at St Mark’s since the careful setting aside of some of the churchyard as meadow. It’s a small meadow but a welcome home for many wild flowers and interesting insects. And can any flower ‘bee’ wilder than the Ophrys (also known as the “Bee Orchid”, although the word ‘ophrys’ literally means ‘eyebrow’ in Greek!)?
Bee orchids have flowers that dress up as female insects in a way that attracts male insects in a process called “pseudocopulation” that then encourages pollination. Spotted today by Isobel, a member of St Mark’s “Green and Wild”, we seem to have half a dozen Bee Orchids dotted around the churchyard. See if you can find them next time you’re around but save their blushes and try not to stare at the ever so amorous bees!