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.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Desensitization Process

I started my desensitization for honeybees at the allergist this week. I am slightly nervous about doing this only because I don’t know how I will react. Actually I am really nervous!! I opted to do a rapid desensitization so that I can get back into my hives as quickly as possible. I asked the nurse on Friday the process. She explained to me that they give a series of 4 shots each day over the next couple of days. On Wednesday I should be up to maintenance dose. Then I will go to the allergist once a month over the next several years until my immunoglobulin’s levels show no reactivity. I hope my bees know what I am going through to keep them.

The first day went well with no reaction at all, except for a little itching. Today is day #2 and I hope it goes as well as yesterday. I believe the doctor told me that these shots are the equivalent of 2 bee stings. I think they need to up the dose quickly because I counted about 11 stings when I had my reaction. Two stings is nothing!! Day #2 is going well with no problems at all, just a little localized itching. The Doctor feels I will do very well through the process. He even gave me an extra shot today. I will repeat the process again tomorrow and next Monday. The doctor wants to be present and he is off on Thursday. Then I will be at maintenance, and will go to the allergist for several years for immunotherapy.

So far so good! I just want this process to go quickly so I never have an anaphylactic reaction again. Of course I will be very well protected and always carry my epi pen in the hives and garden.

Today is day #3 with the rapid desensitization. All is going well with just a little local reaction with some itching. Although after the third shot my B/P did drop significantly. Because of that the doctor wants to be conservative and back off a little bit. I am almost at maintenance so I can come in several times a week until I get up to maintenance. He doesn’t want to take a chance that anything will happen. I agree but want to get to a good level as quickly as possible.

I was talking to a friend about what happened to me, his response was what most people would suggest. “Wouldn’t it just be easier to get rid of the bees?” Yes but ….. There is no way I am doing that right now.

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