Playing Nasty Tricks on Bees
Lady’s-slipper orchids are among the showiest wildflowers in Nova Scotia. But their vivid blooms, like the ones you see on this model, hold an empty promise for bees. These blossoms have no nectar and their pollen packs stick to the insects’ backs, so the bees go hungry. As a result, fewer than 10% of all lady’s-slipper flowers are pollinated.
Yellow lady’s-slipper only grows on alkaline and peaty soils of gypsum and limestone. In Nova Scotia, where it is at some risk of extinction, it can be found in Hants County, parts of Antigonish County and in Cape Breton.