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, October 21, 2012

Happy One Year Anniversary!!!!

Can you believe that it has been one year since I started bee keeping? I know it is really hard to beelieve! For those of you that follow my blog you know it hasn’t exactly been a boring year. It has been exciting, and very eventful! Looking back I can definitely say I have learned a lot, and I certainly haven’t been bored. When I first started beekeeping I really had very little idea what I was doing. I just wanted to help the pollinators, reap the benefits of getting some honey, and thought it would be a really cool hobby. Little did I know that I would risk life and limb, so to speak, during this year to protect these very special pollinators?

Looking back over the year it has been pretty amazing and very rewarding. I started with 2 TBH and now have 5 hives. The first time I saw Sam Comfort at the Palm Beach County Beekeepers Association meeting he asked me how my bees were doing. I honestly couldn’t answer as I really didn’t know enough. Now I can answer quite honestly, “they are doing great!”

To recap the year in beekeeping my hives grew tremendously in the spring. I split the hives from 2 hives to 4 hives and then battled them over the next few months until they raised a queen. It felt like this would never happen, and of course the weather didn’t help at all. As you know we are almost ready to break a record for the most rainfall since 1959. After several months all my hives were queen right. I got to visit Albuquerque NM, and take a beekeeping class from Les Crowder. I learned a lot from that visit and thoroughly loved that part of the country. I rendered wax from my hives, have made honey Mead, and of course harvested many wonderful jars of honey.

For those of you that follow my blog you know that I experienced an anaphylactic reaction after sustaining several stings in June. That was really scary and I hope it never happens again. I am still visiting the allergist for immunotherapy, which will continue for several years. From my blog pictures I have had several run ins with the bees, and sometimes think I am practicing “Combat Gardening”, but I have survived. My bees have stung my yard and pool guys; thank God no law suits yet. Right now the hives are “bee having” and the Brazilian pepper is in bloom. That means the honey flow is on.

I have learned so much during this first year. Here’s to an exciting 2nd year!! Happy Anniversary to me and my hives! Most people would have given up, but I am determined!

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