Orchids Score 14 out of 15

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Orchids score 14 out of 15 in an experiment to see what turns a bee into a sex maniac. Flowers of the orchid Ophrys sphegodes look like female bees but even the thickest bee should be able to tell a flower from a bee when he has landed. Yet male bees actually try to copulate with the flowers, and during these exertions they collect pollen from one flower and transfer it to next flower that turns them on. As with many insects, male bees are attracted to females by pheromones chemicals released by the female into the air that the male bees detect with their antennae. A group of scientists analysed the female pheromones that attract male bees of the species Andrena nigroaenea and found it was a mixture of chemicals. The petals of the orchid contained 14 out of the 15 chemicals. (Reported in Nature Vol 399, p421, 3 June 1999)

Editorial Comment: It requires a giant leap of faith to believe that 14 chemicals independently evolved in flowers and bees, especially as this orchid is totally dependent on only one species of bee to fertilise it. This is only one of many interdependent relationships within the living world that will not work until all components are present and working. It is not only an excellent example of plan and purpose by a master designer, but good evidence God has a sense of humour even about sex. (Ref. Orchids, pollination, Design)

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