O r c h i d   B e e

Male orchid bees feed on nectar from flowers like the gongora orchid, and in the process of nectar-gathering they pick up pollen which they carry to other orchids, thus serving as agents of pollination. In the tropics, insects (such as orchid bees) and birds are the two most important pollinators, probably assisting pollination in more than half of all plants.

The nectar that they collect is stored in hollow cavities in their hind legs. The males, attracted to each other by the powerful scent of the nectar, gather in all-male swarms. These all-male swarms function as an attractive display to female orchid bees. Thus, the orchid's nectar not only nourishes the bee, but is necessary for the bee's courtship ritual and its successful reproduction.