September 2, 2013
#1259: Bee Orchid
[[Beret guy and a woman are walking through a wood.]]
Woman: There are these orchids whose flowers look like female bees. When males try to mate with them, they transfer pollen.
[[The woman kneels next to a flower.]]
Woman: This orchid - Ophrys Apifera - makes flowers, but no bees land on them because the bee it mimics went extinct long ago.
[[The woman stands.]]
Woman: Without its partner, the orchid has resorted to self-pollinating, a last-ditch genetic strategy that only delays the inevitable. Nothing of the bee remains, but we know it existed from the shape of this flower.
[[They walk on past the flower.]]
Woman: It’s an idea of what the female bee looked like to the male bee… … as interpreted by a plant.
Beret guy: Wow, so…
[[We see a full-colour painting of an orchid flower. It has purple-pink petals on a mottled grey background, along with the bee-like parts. It’s quite a realistic painting.]]
… the only memory of the bee is a painting by a dying flower.
[[The flower is alone in a panel.]]
[[Beret guy walks back on screen.]]
[[Beret guy kneels down next to it.]]
Beret guy: I’ll remember your bee, orchid. I’ll remember you.
[[Beret guy walks off-panel again.]]