It struck me today with increased restrictions on going out, that this will be the first year that I am not able to visit the Dorset coast to see Early Spider orchids in April. For all those who will be missing the wonders of native orchids this spring I have found a bee orchid seedling in our laboratory (above).
Maintaining the laboratory is of course essential work but very quiet without my wonderful student team. Seedlings need to be moved into new jars at least every six months to avoid the build up of toxins, and to provide new nutrient and air. The photo below shows how bee orchids (Ophrys apifera) respond to re-plating (moving into a new jar). The seedlings were sown about a year ago – the ones on the left have been re-plated once, six months ago (and were done again today), the jar on the right were missed (though I have tried to save them by re-plating today).