Catkins are a popular Easter decoration with a long tradition.
However, severe penalties can be incurred for picking the plant in the wild.
Hanover - Palm catkins - also called willow catkins - have a long Easter tradition.
On Palm Sunday, these early bloomers are consecrated in the church and accompany the Easter procession.
In the Catholic faith, they are supposed to protect against evil, among other things.
However, it is worth questioning this custom, because the plants are protected and serve as an important food source for bees and other insects in the spring months.
Popular Easter decorations: the Federal Nature Conservation Act prohibits picking pussy willows
Pussy willows are pretty to look at and hold special symbolism for many people.
The plant is sold in flower shops as an Easter decoration, but it also grows in many places in nature.
However, picking catkins on your own can be expensive, as it can result in a hefty fine - and with good reason.
Snowdrops, hazelnuts and pussy willows are among the so-called early bloomers.
In the spring months, they are therefore an important food source for bees and other insects.
Section 39 of the Federal Nature Conservation Act stipulates that it is forbidden to “remove wild plants from their location without good reason […] or destroy them in any other way.” This applies, among other things, to hedges, living fences, bushes and others Shrubs for the period between March 1st and September 30th.
There is, however, an exception to this rule.
According to this, everyone may “carefully take small quantities of living flowers, grasses, ferns, mosses, lichens, fruits, mushrooms, tea and medicinal herbs as well as branches of wild plants from nature in places that are not subject to a ban on entry for personal use and take them Appropriately."
A bee on a pussy willow: During these months, the pussy willows are an important source of food for the hard-working helpers.
A fine is imminent: depending on the federal state, several thousand euros are due
According to the catalog of fines, penalties of around 2,500 euros are provided for cutting hedges in nature reserves in areas of up to ten meters, depending on the federal state.
So picking catkins on your own in these areas is not a good idea.
However, there is no need to do without the pretty Easter decorations entirely: fans of the pussy willow can, for example, plant the shrub themselves in the garden and thus help insects in their search for food in spring.
This is an efficient means of counteracting bee mortality.