28 October 2017

Making a Skep

A skep is a type of traditional beehive. This particular skep is being made from straw but other materials were, and still are, used by bee-keepers to make homes for their honey bees.

In October I was fortunate to attend a most enjoyable workshop at the National Honey Show where Mr. Chris Park of Acorn Education taught a small group of bee-keepers this ancient technique.

23 June 2017

A Wildlife Corridor - Footpath 99

"Can you look at Footpath 99? it's overgrown" the Residents Association's Footpath Officer (that's me) was asked. So, off I went to take a look. Footpath 99 turned out to be a small, rather unloved, right of way running between suburban back gardens....
Footpath 99 Oak tree

21 February 2017

A Cloud of Yew Pollen

Walking near the churchyard I noticed an ancient yew tree was flowering.
When I shook a branch a cloud of pollen was released, and I found I was covered in pollen grains.

Yew pollen from Marion Malcher on Vimeo.

Early in the year honey bees require good sources of protein to feed the larvae in their expanding nests. Yew pollen is a valuable protein source although, along with other dry wind blown pollens, bees only use it when other sources are unavailable. The Yew tree does not yield nectar.

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