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.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Let’s Celebrate National Honey Bee Day

National Honey Bee Day is August 20th this year.  As you know I have been a beekeeper for 5 years now.  For many years I have been gardening for pollinators of all kinds, i.e. butterflies, hummingbirds, bats, dragonflies and honeybees.  My goal has been to raise people’s awareness that our pollinators are in trouble.  This is mostly due, I feel, to pesticides and the destruction of the pollinators’ natural environment.  30% of the bee colonies have perished in the last 5 years.  The USDA now classifies rapid bee loss as an urgent crisis.  Pesticides specifically Neonicotinoids are to blame.  The US uses over 1 billion lbs. of them annually.  5.6 billion lbs. are used worldwide.  These pesticides are not only affecting honeybees but all pollinators.  Here is a link about planting pollinator friendly plants!


So what can you do to help our bees and celebrate National Honey Bee Day??  First you could support your local beekeeper.  Know the practices of your local beekeeper.  Not all are alike.  For example my yard is pesticide free.  I do not use pesticides in my yard or in my hives, so my honey is treatment free. I am a Top Bar Hive Beekeeper.  I think this is a very natural way to keep bees.  The bees actually build their own honeycomb.  I had my yard certified as a Natural Habitat. That means that I provide a habitat for birds, butterflies, frogs, and other wildlife by providing natural food sources, clean water, cover and places to raise young.  

2.  Plant some flowers and trees that attract pollinators to your garden.  Utilize plants that are native to your area. 
3.  Reduce or eliminate the impact of pesticides.
4.  Become involved with organizations that support and protect our pollinators. 


The Pollinator Partnership is an organization whose mission is to promote the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research.

Here is an article by the Pollinator Partnership that talks about 7 Things You Can Do for Pollinators;  http://www.pollinator.org/7things.htm

The Pollinator Partnership also has a program called “The Million Pollinators Garden Challenge”
http://pollinator.org/million-pollinator-garden-challenge.htm; get involved this is a great challenge.  My garden is registered. 

I have been posting several articles for the last few weeks on my FB page, Reeny’s Butterflies Blooms and Bees.  Here are a few of the links to videos that talk about the importance of our bees.






Albert Einstein is quoted as saying that “If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.”  There is absolutely no evidence that Einstein actually ever said that, but it does make you think of the importance of our Honeybee.  Honey bees perform about 80% of all pollination worldwide.  Seventy out of the top 100 human food crops which supple about 90% of the world’s nutrition are pollinated by bees. 

Let’s all work together to SAVE OUR BEES!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Atala Butterfly

These pictures are of the Atala Butterfly, which I believe is endangered. I have had them in my yard for the last several years. They specifically need the Coontie Fern in order to lay their eggs. I cannot wait to re-landscape my yard!!!!!!!!!!



 




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