Wild flowers are important for many insects looking for nectar and pollen. At the first sign of spring daisies start to flower in their modest way. These are a real delicacy not only for small insects, but surely also for geese who lend their name to the German word for daisy (“Gänseblümchen”). The return of geese from their southern wintering grounds often coincides with the daisies’ bloom.
Willow catkins are the first important source of nectar and pollen for Bumblebee queens when they emerge from hibernation in March. They strongly rely on this source to raise a new colony. No other plant provides this much sustenance so early in the year.
Soon after that the mighty dandelion appears and attracts all the attention with its irresistible yellow flowers. It not only attracts other small insects, but lures wild bees out of their winter hiding places. After that the fruit trees normally need a few more sunny days to open and bloom. We organic orchard growers are glad that the pollinating insects have already been led to the blossom in the orchards by dandelions, daisies and willow catkins.