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 7, 2013

Some Very Interesting Articles on Bees

There have been several interesting Scientific Articles around bees lately that have made the news. The first was published in National Geographic Magazine on February 21, 2013, and the second in Ars Technica, on March 7th.

National Geographic Article: Bees Can Sense The Electric Fields of Flowers

Article: Plants make bees remember them using a caffeine boost

The article is very interesting it seems that there may be electrical fields around flowers that actually attract the bee to the flower. This may be more of an attractant that the actual color or shape of the flower. Flowers may be more than just a source of color and scent to bees. I can tell you from my own experience that the bees in my yard are definitely more attracted to purple flowers. The electrical field may actually be telling bees when a flower was last visited. Most flowers have a negative charge and a bee is able to change that charge. Sparks don’t fly but pollen does. The electrical field may actually be telling the bee when the flower was visited last. The better the electrical field around the flower the more the bee will visit that flower and enhance pollination. Many animals can sense electrical field such as sharks, but this is the first time that scientists have discovered sense in an insect.

The second article has to do with Caffeine and bees. It seems that some plants such as Coffea and Citrus produce nectar that contains caffeine. We all know what effect caffeine has on neurons. Seems that bees have similar neuron type cells and caffeine actually improves long term memory in bees and they will revisit those flowers that contain the caffeine nectar.
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