Bee and Orchid Mimicry
We'll close out the week this lazy summer Friday in mid-August with a short blog post and fascinating video.
What is a flower willing to do to ensure survival of the species? How clever is a flower in creating a complex plan to lure another species to do its bidding?
Let's view some amazing orchids with Natural History Museum botanist Fred Rumsey in a short 4:06 minute video. You'll be amazed by these bee-like orchids!
According to PBS, some 10,000 species of dainty orchards are adept at lying, deceit and concocting an elaborate scheme in order to lure insects to their voluptuous petals so they can be pollinated.
Next time you see a cute little bee being nurtured with nectar by an orchid and pollinating it in return, remember it is unlikely to be a chance occurrence for the greater good of both.
There is rarely anything random about it. Some orchids have morphed and shape-shifted to the point where they look like female versions of their favorite pollinators, implying that a sexual tryst may take place. To "sweeten the deal" an orchid may put forth a scent the bee desires. This tactic requires the bug and the flower to get up close and "personal" which ensures the orchid's pollen will be carried far and wide. The orchid's strategy then yields results.
Scientific research is ongoing about this sort of mimicry in the natural world, and the degree of natural intelligence at play.
As you prepare for your next romantic tryst, remember that orchids have the market cornered when it comes to the intricacies of stacking the deck in their favor. So, if your date gifts you an orchid...
If you have a good mimicry story to share, let's keep the theme going over on our Facebook page! Enjoy a BEEutiful weekend! :)