Tree Sex, Part 2
Many early spring trees are pollinated both by wind and insects. For insects, these early spring trees can be critically important. At a time when few plants are flowering, bees and other insects rely on trees for pollen. Most early spring trees produce little or no nectar, and are much more important as a pollen resource than for the raw material for honey. In early spring, honey bees and native bees are in deed of protein to start building up the population of worker bees in the hive.
This is not a native tree, but an ornamental witchhazel, Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold’s Promise’. Its showy flowers are rare this early in spring, but it is adapted for pollination by moths, not bees. Bees probably get relatively little reward except for a bit of pollen.