Bee Orchids have taken residence outside Bangor University’s Brambell Building on Deiniol Road.

This attractive and hardy orchid can grow up to 30cm, which flowers in June and July and can take 5 to 8 years to develop flowers.

The flower is very unique, with its pink petals and a brown centre which looks like the body of a female bee, luring male bees to the flower, allowing pollination. Sadly, the right species of bee doesn’t live in the UK, so Bee Orchids are self-pollinated here.

Luckily sharp eyed zoology students, Tom and Annie, spotted the orchids growing in the grass along with other wild flowers and alerted the university estates department not to cut the grass.

Although Bee Orchids are found throughout the UK, but are scarcer in the north of the country. Bee orchids are protected, as are all wild flowers, under Section 13 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). This section prohibits unauthorised and intentional uprooting of any wild plant.

Photos John Mulley