At the beginning of spring aphid populations haven't build up yet. When ladybirds emerge from hibernation it is not uncommon to see them enjoying some plant nectar. Here a Harlequin ladybird enjoys licking the nectar gland under the male flowers of a spurge.
This 7 spot is enjoying the same sweet secretions on the buds of peony that ants like.
And on a verge, tens of 7 spots congregate on the flowering heads Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata). I couldn't see any aphids or other pests and the female being mated has her head right into the buds of the plant. Greenfingers also touched the topic recently on his wonderful blog, full of great shots and information.