Some interesting facts...
- Bee orchids produce a scent which is similar to the pheromones produced by certain female bees to attract a mate. Male bees attracted by this scent then attempt to mate with the bee orchid flower and, in moving from flower to flower, transfer pollen and fertilise the bee orchids.
- Bee orchids only flower once.
- The single flower spike is the culmination of up to eight years growth
- The top flower is the last to open.
- Bee orchids take 5-8 years to develop from seed to flower. This development depends on an association between the orchid and fungi in the soil.
- Seed capsules develop as the flowers die off. Each capsule contains 6,000 - 10,000 tiny seeds.
- Below ground only those seeds which are successful in gaining nutrients from fungal hyphae will begin their 5-8 years of development before flowering.