First foragers of 2012

Photos shot today, March 11, 2012. About 1 week earlier than 2010 (March 17, 2010, I posted a first bees of 2010, and also posted some crocus shots on March 28).

Last week Wednesday Alex was working with bees and saw some pollen coming in, so I thought the crocus must be open and indeed the yellow ones on my front yard were starting to bloom.

Crocus is always one of the first batch of flowers to bloom, with skunk cabbage and winter aconite perhaps slightly ahead.

These flowers provide the first pollen that the bees need critically (we gave them some pollen substitute last week, but still, nothing beats the real thing when it comes to pollen).

I waited till around 3 pm today, when it reached 18C (65F) to see if my half a mile away neighbor’s crocus would have bees.

1. The lonely flower.

2. A nice patch.

3. Here come the bees!

4. Working hard on pollen.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10. Working on a yellow one.

11.  Silver maple also blooming…did not see bees. Probably because it is so tall and so many flowers!

12. Red maple is still 1 week or more away.

13. Pussy willow is probably 3-4 days away, soon they will be filled with bees.

14. lantern flowers (Helleborus, Renunculaceae), probably about 2-3 days away.

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