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, March 8, 2012

Bee College

Attending Bee College over the next few days! Need to learn how to make a split!!

Attended Bee College in St. Augustine, Florida.  It was sponsored by the University of Florida.  It was an excellent 2 day program.  I took some very interesting classes.  The only problem is that most of the classes are geared to Langstroth hive beekeeping, and I am using TBH.  I am also a treatment free beekeeper.  Since the Varroa mite and other diseases have become so prevalent for beekeepers most of their lectures are about how to control these pests.  I am hoping that since I am using TBH and allowing my bees to draw out their own comb, and these bees are SC (small cell), that my bees are more resistant to these pests.  I took some really fun classes:  i.e. cooking with honey, rendering wax, making mead, and gardening for bees.   I really enjoyed these classes, especially the Mead class.  Many years ago I made Mango Wine so I can definitely see me making Honey Wine (Mead).  I also participated in a class to get certified to use an Epi Pen, a basic class on TBH and how we are going to Haiti to teach them beekeeping using a TBH.  TBH are used very often in third world countries because they are very inexpensive to build. My friend Inese Bunch obtained her Apprenticeship towards her Master Beekeeper.   Thoroughly enjoyed this program and recommend it to any beekeeper.   

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