2 November 2015

Prizewinning Honey & Beeswax at the National Honey Show 2015

I am really pleased to tell you that my honey and beeswax won prizes in the National Honey Show at the end of October. For the third year running I gained a 1st Prize for beeswax, winning the Silver Jubilee Bowl trophy, and this year, 2nd Prize for Naturally Crystallised Honey; in a class with honey from across the United Kingdom & Eire.  The prizewinning honey was meadow flower honey from Woking.
National Honey Show - Honey 2015

National Honey Show - Beeswax 2015

1 October 2015

A visit to the home of Karl Von Frisch

Karl Von Frisch was the famous Austrian Nobel Prizewinner, who discovered how honeybees communicate by dancing.

29 September 2015

The Fire Salamander (Salamandra Salamandra)

A cool, humid day high up in the forest in the Austrian Salzkammergut - perfect weather for Salamanders!  They love temperatures around 15°C and high air humidity (90%)

Fire Salamander (Salamandra Salamandra) Austria 2015
Photo: M.Malcher

18 September 2015

Honeydew Honey

The honey from some of my honeybee colonies this year is dark, rich, honeydew honey - and this is rather special!

5 September 2015

Wasp Spider - Argiope bruennichi

"What a beautiful spider!" those words may be a surprise, but take a look and you'll agree that the Wasp Spider is rather special. The bright yellow and black colouring of the female is distinctive and certainly "waspish". She is large (this one was about 5cm across), unmistakeable and with her long banded legs is rather a graceful spider too.

Wasp Spider ( Argiope bruennichi )
Photo M Malcher

1 August 2015


White light gentle-soft
Thistledown blows by the oaks
Snow in summer-time

Thistledown from Marion Malcher on Vimeo.

8 July 2015

Honey Flow

Most places have a number of nectar flows, which beekeepers tend to call honey flows, through the year and these vary with location, habitat and weather.

Bees in the roof of the hive.  Photo M.Malcher

27 May 2015

A Swarm of Bees Lands

Do you know what a swarm of honey bees arriving looks like?
My doorbell rang. "There's a swarm of bees, come and get them!" Ok, just around the corner? "let's see then..." I went and looked. Yes, a lovely swarm of honey bees, about 12 metres (40 feet) up a Scots Pine tree...

16 April 2015

Tree Bumblebee - Bombus Hypnorum

"Help, there are bees living in my roof!" That's a phrase I hear a lot from callers during May, June and July who believe they have a swarm of honeybees. More often than not it is a small nest of Tree Bumblebees. Please take a look at the following pictures and short video before searching for your local beekeeper.

30 March 2015

Hidden Well

Sometimes, strangely, things remain hidden, even in the busiest of places.
Wandering around near one of several places I keep bees, I found a well. It's not far from a busy road and a frequently used footpath. The place had the aura of one which seemed surprised by human intrusion.

Hidden Well - Photo M.Malcher

24 February 2015

Singing Frogs

A pond in winter looks cold and lifeless, but when spring returns it brims with life. Water attracts all kinds of creatures and the tiniest garden pond will soon become a home for frogs. Even a shallow tray filled with pebbles and water will provide a welcome, although they need more space to breed. I have several "frog puddles" in my garden. But did you know that we have "singing" frogs?

Pond in Winter - Marion Malcher
A pond in winter

3 February 2015

The English Yew

European Yew Berry
Yew Berry by Didier Descouens CC BY-SA 3.0
The English Yew, (Taxus baccata), one of the few native British evergreens is renowned for it’s longevity & it’s poison, Taxin. The name ‘taxus’ may be related to the Greek ‘toxon’ (bow) and ‘toxicon’ the poison with which arrowheads were dressed. Yew is poisonous, leave the berries for the birds.

21 January 2015

What does an Owl eat?

I noticed an Owl Pellet while checking my beehives after a stormy night. I've seen pellets here before and I know that an Owl, most likely a Barn Owl, likes to roost in the tree above the hives. An Owl can eat it's prey whole but can't digest all the tough parts like bone and fur so reguritates these in a pellet from it's throat. Out of curiosity, this time I picked up the pellet and took it home. Then followed a fascinating, if messy, experience! Click to read futher and to see some photographs