At last the Maples are in bloom. First up is the Silver Maple. Not a majestic tree but still good for the bees. It grows naturally in moist areas like swamps & stream sides. At maturity it will have large spreading limbs and none of them will be straight. A fast growing tree that is widely used as a landscaping tree so most of them are found in someones yard. As in my case since my neighbor has a handful of them.
The male flowers provide the pollen my bees are currently collecting. I've read these maples can be a good source of nectar. There are, of course, temperature issues with gathering nectar so early in the year. Also, there are not enough bees to get out of the Maples what they can give. Regardless, the bees are hitting every Silver Maple they can find. This will be the pollen & Nectar that gets the queens to start laying again.
Red Maple <---Click link for species info
Also in bloom. Straighter form than the Silver with lighter bark. Again widely planted as an ornamental. However it is mostly found throughout the forests and woodlots in this and other areas. It also breaks the fresh pollen & nectar fast for the bees. With the same nectar argument as it's silver cousin.
The flowers on this tree resemble a patch of tulips if you ask me. These ubiquitous trees will account for much more forage simply because there are so many of them. The red everyone sees in the forest canopies while driving down the highway are from these trees.