How I Got Started

I started Butterfly gardening many years ago. My yard has been a progression over the years, and has made many transformations. Twenty years ago I experienced Hurricane Andrew. My yard and house were destroyed. We decided not to replace the pool screening and open up the backyard and put in some landscaping. That was the official beginning of my love for gardening in South Florida. I added a beautiful water garden years ago, and have been adding host and larvae plants for pollinators, mostly for the butterfly, for as many years as I can remember. I had my yard certified as a Natural Habitat, through the National Wildlife Foundation. To have a natural habitat you need to provide and meet certain requirements: 1. Provide a food source, 2. Provide a water source, 3. Cover, 4. A place to raise young. I try not to use any pesticides in my yard. I vermicompost and recycle as many of my food scraps as possible. If I had more land I would have a huge compost bin to recycle all my yard cuttings. Basically, I try to lessen my carbon footprint on this earth. In my own little world or backyard I try to provide an ecosystem in my water garden, provide birdbaths, birdfeeders, hummingbird nectar sources, feeders, puddling areas, host plants and nectar plants for butterflies and other pollinators. I am hoping to raise everyone’s awareness of the importance of saving our Butterflies, Blooms & Bees. Without them our world and food source will be in trouble. I hope you all enjoy my journey. I am not a Master Gardener, or Master Beekeeper, an Entomologist, or Journalists. I am simply a Backyard Gardener who is trying to lessen her Carbon Footprint of this Earth.

I hope you enjoy my blogs.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Simply an Update Week!!

Well it has been quite a week status post my anaphylactic reaction to my bees. My physical wounds are healing. Most of the bruising around my face is gone, my knees are still bruised and butt feels better. My bee stings are hardly swollen or itchy. It’s amazing how 40 mg/day of Prednisone will help alleviate most of the inflammation.

The emotional wounds are taking longer to heal. I had a really hard time in the beginning of the week trying to erase the pictures and vague memories of what I went through in the kitchen. It really is a blur, but what I keep playing in my head is the fact that I was not able to function to help myself. I am so grateful that I came through enough to call 911 and administer the epinephrine. I am in that strange emotional place where I am angry and scared all at the same time. I am not really willing to give up my bees. The thought of having to do this makes me very sad. Every medical person that I have spoken to this week, pretty much thinks I am crazy, and has advised me that I may need to give up my bees until I go through desensitization. I did speak to a few of my bee supply companies. I was advised to put several layers under my gloves instead of ordering new gloves. So I ordered some white cotton gloves as the first layer, then I will put on a pair of my Playtex Kitchen gloves, and then finally my bee gloves. I don’t think the bees can sting through all those layers but they might. It is the “might” that scares me. I also ordered a pair of the most adorable bee rubber boots. I was also advised to take my epi pen out to the bee yard.

According to government statistics, about 3.3 percent of adults will experience anaphylaxis after an insect sting and there are 40 to as many as 100 deaths annually from insect-sting-related anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a severe type I hypersensitivity allergic reaction in humans and other mammals. If you are known to be allergic to insect stings, then the next sting is 60% likely to be similar or worse than the previous sting.

I am still hoping that my friend will help me with the hives so it will decrease the chance of me getting stung. My other concern is the fact that my “bee yard” is my backyard and also my garden. I have been afraid to just go outside and walk around unprotected this week. Although I have butterfly plants scattered throughout my yard most of my pollination garden is on the west side of the yard where my bee hives are located. I need to get out there and garden but with the bees flying everywhere it makes me a little nervous. They have never stung me when I am out in the yard but they have chased me down a few times. I should have the results of my IgE immunoglobulin’s by Monday and then start desensitization. Hopefully the process will go quickly! I need to call my friend Kate in Albuquerque just to talk about my feelings and the process. One other note, I did go out and buy myself a Pandora “Queen Bee” charm. I think that is as close to a real bee as I am going to get for awhile!

On a happier update is my progress of my mango wine! It is doing exactly what is should be and has reached a specific gravity of about 1.010. I removed the mango fruit and I racked it into a secondary carboy on Tuesday evening. It went very smoothly. It is now settling nicely and I will be racking it off the lees every week for a couple of weeks and then eventually every month for at least 6 months. I will periodically give you some updates to show the process.

It’s been a tough week! A good glass of wine is exactly what the doctor ordered!

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