If you look closely, one sign that spring has clearly begun is the flurry of activity around the Goat Willow trees. Usually found in lowland river or wetland landscapes this tree is important as an early season nectar source for bees.
As important as pollen is for bees at this time, to encourage the Queen to lay more eggs, they also need nectar for energy. The male flower forms the yellow ‘catkins’, which provides the source of pollen that usually begins in March. The female forms the silver ‘catkin’ which is the early source of nectar for bees.
The Goat Willow tree is also dependent upon the bees as they rely entirely on insects (instead of wind), to distribute their pollen.
The significance of Bees, particularly in spring-time is often overlooked but without these species hard at work we would not have our diverse grassland or woodland habitats.