Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Silver & Red Maple

Silver Maple <---Click link for species info
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 Flower

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.


Female Flowers are Red

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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.


Stamens almost in full bloom

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.

4 comments:

immwia said...

The red ones would be my favorite. Wow, I never looked at these blooms, the first ones from the silver are very strange looking.

ngaio said...

Your photos are beautiful ! I love botanical pics, taking many myself. I have some I took of Red Maple last spring, will post them when it is our turn for spring - autumn is knocking on the door down here in NZ. I enjoy reading your blog.

ngaio said...

I do have a blog, it doesn`t come up as I have changed my email address, must fix that ! My blog is http://miro-ngaio.blogspot.com/ or google `Bees in the Antipodes`

Hemlock said...

immwia,
I mean to do a photo study of each source of pollen and nectar as we go through the year. That way I can look back over time to better estimate when to expect certain blooms to be available for harvest.

ngaio
Hello, welcome to the Creek. It would be great to see what blooms you all have down there to feed your bees. I hope the winter you're heading into is milder that what we just had here.

Yes I've been going to your blog for a few weeks now. I have also added it to my blogroll on the side bar. Always good to meet other beeks.