The red maple, Acer rubrum

The red maple, Acer rubrum

Often one of the most dominant trees in deciduous woods in the East. It blooms very early in the spring and provides pollen and nectar to the set of bees, and flower flies, that come out early. One can only imagine what the tonnage of pollen and nectar these trees produce in aggregate, and how such a seemingly small, component of the tree, flowers, could drive the populations of a huge number of bees and other insects in. Flowers collected by the photographs taken by Helen Lowe Metzman from Howard County Maryland.