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, May 13, 2012

Still Not Queenright!

They say the first year of beekeeping is the hardest. It is equivalent to raising your first child. Well right now as a parent and being that it is Mother’s Day I feel like I am failing miserably. I don’t think I ever felt as a new parent like I wasn’t doing a good job. I was exhausted and didn’t have time for myself, but at least I knew what I was doing. As a beekeeper things are not going as they should, and I am starting to get a little worried. I really don’t know what I am going to do. My hives are still not Queenright! As you know if you have been following along, hive #2 still has no laying queen as of last weekend. I gave the hive another bar of eggs with a little capped brood. Today when I went into the hive there was still no sign of a laying queen. The bar that I placed in the hive last week had mostly capped brood but no queen cells. At first when I looked at it I thought I had a laying queen, but realized that this was the bar I had put in last weekend and the eggs were now mostly capped. I think that it should have been enough time for the queen to return and begin laying. When I went into hive #1 I saw lots of capped brood, open larvae. I saw queen cells on bars #15, 13, 12, 10, 9, and 7. I did not see the queen, or eggs in this hive. Which makes me believe, with all the queen cells that something happened to her? I took one bar with 3 queen cells and moved it to hive #2. I also took a bar of mostly capped brood from hive #3 and moved it to hive #2. I am very confused as to what could have happened to the laying queen that was in hive #1, and why is it taking so long to make a queen in hive #2. Hive #3 and #4 look good. The queens are laying nicely. I saw a few small hive beetles but not too many. The weather hasn’t really been cooperating, with all the rain the hives seem to be growing slowly. I need to have a better idea what is blooming in South Florida. I am sorry now that I split the hives. I need a mentor here in South Florida that knows what they are doing. While I was in the hives today, I called Kate out in New Mexico, for her advice. It is hard for her to tell what exactly is going on in my hives because of the distance, and my climate in South Florida is very different from New Mexico. Their season is just beginning. She too is concerned about why there are so many queen cells in hive number #1. She is also confused as to what could have happened to the queen, and is the hive going to swarm? I have no idea! I am going to New Mexico this Friday to take part in a Spring Maintenance Class. These classes are specifically geared to TBH beekeeping and are given by Les Crowder. I am looking forward to the class and hope that I can get some answers to what might be happening in my hives. Until then I will remain concerned and worried as to what might be happening and also concerned if my hives will eventually recover. They say the bees know what they are doing, and just to let them bee.
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