i had pretty much ignored maple flowers until i started keeping bees. worse than that, i don’t think i’d give maple flowers any thought. i knew that they must make flowers as they form those little helicopter things i liked to play with as a kid, but i never really thought that hard.
now that i keep bees i find myself on the look out for maple flowers as they are just about the very first forage crop for the bees. maples actually form the flowers in the fall, and they hang out all winter just waiting for the right time to open. here is a picture of an unopened maple flower.
pretty huh? you can see why i never noticed, without paying much attention i just figured it was a leaf bud.
i’ve been looking at them for the last couple of weeks waiting for them open and like most things they seem pretty intent on teaching me patience. but last night as i was getting home from work, and before i headed out for an excellent program on arab culture and cooking, i noticed the little bit of fuzz glimmering in the sun. the maples had started to bloom. oh celebration. i quickly ran and snapped a couple of photos for you.
what they lack in beauty they make up for in earless, and you have to give them credit for that. and their pollen gives the bees an early source of food when almost nothing else is out. next thing to watch for is the crocuses.