A lone Asian honey bee (Apis cerana) was observed flitting in between fresh blooms of pigeon orchid (Dendrobium crumenatum) flowers on 19 December 2021. A very short video of the bee in action is captured in the video below.
Pigeon orchids are epiphytes which bloom when a critical drop in night temperature stimulates the underdeveloped flower buds to complete their growth, and to burst forth in unison approximately 10 days later. The flowers are highly-scented but stay in bloom for 1 day only.
The Asian honey bee is frequently seen in this vicinity. They are often seen buzzing around the coral vine (Antigonon leptopus) flowers. I managed to take a short video of a bee pollinating the pigeon orchid.
Read this post by YC Wee of his description of this intriguing orchid.
All photos © Teo Lee Wei
Article by Teo Lee Wei
- A guide to the BEES OF SINGAPORE by Zestin W>W> & John S. Ascher © 2020
- 1001 Garden Plants in Singapore by Boo Chih Min, Kartini Omar-Hor & Ou-Yang Chow Lin © 2003