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, September 4, 2016

What’s all the Buzz at Broken Sound Club?

September is National Honey Month.  As a backyard beekeeper I celebrate this month, and give thanks to my bees for every drop of honey they give me.  Please follow me on FB and Instagram as I will post some recipes and be creating some new soaps for National Honey Month. 

Earlier in August I was invited to Broken Sound Club in Boca Raton, Florida.  I was invited because I write my blog about my beekeeping and adventures in my garden.  I am not sure if they really were aware that I am also a small backyard beekeeper.  None the less, I was invited to a very spectacular evening.  I had never heard of the Broken Sound Club, in Boca Raton, Florida. But after this wonderful evening I was quite impressed with what they are doing to raise the awareness of our environment and the importance of our bees. 

The Broken Sound Club is one of Boca Raton’s premier country club communities.   It is an award-winning, year-round, private golf and country club community.

So what is all the buzz at Broken Sound Club?????  They are celebrating National Honey Month and the Bee Postive Now campaign #beepositivenow.   I was so totally impressed with what they are doing at the country club.  It turns out that they are a totally sustainable property and practice sustainable gardening, composting and beekeeping.  They actually have 20 bee hives on the two golf courses.  I had no idea!  In fact I knew the beekeepers Sierra Malnove and Al Salopek, who are the president and vice president of Florida Backyard Beekeepers.  Florida Backyard Beekeepers Association is a non-profit 501c3 organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of honeybees and their keepers.  I am a proud member.

Broken Sound Club has 3000 members.  They serve 170,000 meals annually. Their golf courses host 55,000 rounds of golf.  They have 250 acres of Maintained Golf Course.  The country club produces 500,000 pounds annual average food waste and 1.2 million pounds annual average yard waste.  Because they are a forward-thinking organization they understand the benefits of Sustainability.   The General Manager and CEO is a gentlemen by the name of John Crean.  Please watch the video below about the Broken Sound Club. It is quite impressive.  He explains in the video that they started small by realizing how many plastic water bottles and Styrofoam cups they were using, and banned their use on the property.   This grew into a huge campaign and now they are totally environmentally friendly and sustainable.  They are recognized by such organizations as the Audubon Sanctuary, Golf Environment Organization (GEO), LEED Certified, the Environmental Protection Agency, and Best Management Practices Certified.  It is amazing that an organization like this had the vision and commitment to create such an environment.  I wish other large organizations and businesses were this environmentally aware. Other properties such as Trump National and the Biltmore in Coral Gables should be more aware of such amazing forward thinking.  

I was invited to a “Beeutiful” evening and chef’s table event to raise awareness of what they are doing at Broken Sound Club and their Bee Positive Now initiative.

Throughout the month of September, the country club will be hosting many different events to raise the awareness of the importance of our bees.  Here is a link to an agenda of all the different events they will be hosting for the community. #BrokenSoundClub #beesmartclub #boca4bees, #gothives, #beepositivenow, #bocabees #beethesolution #lovemyhoney #Queenbee


Some of the events and information available at the above link include:

·         BEE Yummy cooking classes and Chef’s Tables
·         ‘Bee Smart’ Lunch & Learns
·         ‘Bee Positive’ Tours for children’s groups and schools
·         Bee Smart interactive social media education campaign
·         Queen Bee Day at Bloomingdale’s at Town Center on Saturday September 17th. 
·         Bee Happy & Smart Day on Saturday September 24th at Boca Raton’s Children’s Museum

To quote the Broken Sound Club and their ‘Bee Positive Now’ campaign “Once you realize that one in three mouthfuls of what we eat is dependent upon these pollinators, you know just how critical it is that each of us to do our part to respect and protect these life-sustaining eco-heroes.”

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;

The Pollinator Partnership also has a program called “The Million Pollinators Garden Challenge”; 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!!!!!!!!!!


Friday, June 24, 2016

Guess who is going to be selling at the Pinecrest Farmer's Market??

I am so excited to announce that I have been accepted into the Pinecrest Farmers Market! This is a yearly farmers market located in the beautiful Pinecrest Gardens.

I will be there every Sunday starting this Sunday June 26th from 9-2pm!!!!!

You can visit the following link for additional information and location information:

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

I'll be back....

PLEASE NOTE: I will be out of town during the majority of the month of May due to the birth of my first granddaughter and will not be making any personal appearances
or shipping orders during this time.

I will continue to fulfill orders until I leave, and will update these notices when I know exact dates. Orders placed while I am out of town will be shipped as soon as possible upon my return.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to my awesome followers & customers... I'll get back to blogging and sending out your orders ASAP!

Thank you for your understanding.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Events Where You Can Find Me!!

Check out my events and locations page - you'll be able to plan your next visit to my booth so you can stock up on my delicious honey, wonderful soaps, beautiful candles and bath & body products in person! You can even pull up maps for your GPS right from my website to help you find me quickly and easily!…

Upcoming events include this Sunday: Earth Day at Pinecrest Farmer's Market and next week Wednesday at the Spring Bazaar... here is the flyer for the bazaar with more information!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Brambleberry Soap Swap

I participated in a soap swap with Brambleberry. There were 100 participants. 10 soaps were randomly chosen in Ann Marie's box. Mine was one of them!!!!!!! It's the Honey Bee Love Soap!…/anne-maries-spring-soap-swap-…/…

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Artisan Life is featuring me in their podcast this week!

Reeny's Butterflies, Blooms & Bees is featured on this week's podcast for The Artisan Life... I'm very excited! Click this link to check it out!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

How could it have Been A Year Since I updated my Blog

I have wanted to update my blog for over a year, but there never seems to be enough hours in a day.   So much has happened in a year it is hard to believe.  Let’s start from a personal perspective.  I am going to be a grandmother times 3 children.  Katie my daughter and Tyler have been married for over a year now and are expecting in May of this year.  They are having a little girl.  My son Sean and his fiancĂ© Lyndsay are also expecting a girl in July and finally Kevin and Jenny are getting married April 2nd and expecting a little boy in August.  I am truly blessed.  My son Drew graduated from Boston Conservatory in May and is working as a professional actor and following in his father’s footsteps.  Life is good!!

Sean & Lyndsay baby girl    
Katie & Tyler baby girl 
Kevin & Jenny baby Boy

My soaping business, Reeny’s Butterflies Blooms and Bees is doing well, growing and gives me great pleasure and I am striving to someday open my own small retail store.  Until then I will continue to grow my business and continue to share my joy of beekeeping and gardening.  I was interviewed yesterday by Amy Hager of the Artisan Life for a podcast that will air sometime in April.  We started following each other on Instagram recently when I liked a picture of her where she was body painted as a Queen Bee by another artisan.  It is an absolutely beautiful painting.  As a fellow beekeeper I fell in love with the art work! I am sure it was an amazing experience!  When Amy asked me to do the interview I was excited and thrilled, and a little nervous because I do not truly represent the artisan lifestyle.  I am still working for corporate America as a sales representative with deadlines, and sales expectations.  I love my job as it has given me financial stability, and many benefits that make me appreciate life.  But the Artisan life keeps calling me.  It really has most of my life.  When I was younger I was busy raising 4 wonderful children but always had some artistic or creative outlet.  Back then it was music.  My children are very creative and musical.  As I grew older and my children have grown, my responsibility for caring for them lessened and I found that I was constantly seeking to fulfill my creative nature, whether it was needlepoint, scrapbooking, knitting, gardening, beekeeping or soap making.  Doing this interview made me realize that I am truly an artisan, and even though I have responsibilities to my current job I am fulfilled by this creative nature that I possess.  I look forward to posting a link on my Facebook page for all to listen to.  


My yard continues to be in constant change.  The one thing that is slightly constant is that I do not have as much time to keep it as manicured as it used to be.  That is mostly because of the bees.  As you all know from my past blog posts it is extremely difficult to garden like I use to without the bees trying to eventually sting me.  It is very hot in Miami to garden, in a full bee suit.  Secondly, my old yard guys would not mow or upkeep the backyard.  As a result it became so out of control that it was impossible for me to tackle alone.  I have an acquaintance, Cindy David, who I have known for many years.  Our children went to early school together.  I learned a lot of what I know about Butterfly gardening from her.  Through the years our lives have crossed paths on numerous occasions.  She has owned her own landscaping business for many years and spends a great deal of her time giving lectures and doing landscapes for butterfly and pollinator gardens.  Our lives recently crossed paths again and she now is maintaining a few residential yards.  Her yard men happen to be beekeepers so they are not intimidated by my bees.  So I am thrilled!!  My yard is slowly starting to take shape again.  On Friday we are checking out the irrigation system and starting to plant a few pollinator plants.  I am so excited!  My yard use to give me such joy and I am thrilled for the possibilities again.  Yesterday when I was talking on the podcast interview it had been some time since I talked about butterfly gardening and I almost forget some of the plants and books that were the foundation to my garden.  I have been so busy over the last five years beekeeping and making soap that I haven’t spent enough time focusing on my garden.  Hopefully that is going to change.  The interview yesterday prompted me to write this update.  Coincidentally today Cindy called me and said she had some plants that she will be able to plant on Friday. 

This year was not a great year for my hives!  I lost several to wax worms.  I had 6 hives most of the year, had as many as 8 and then lost 4 after doing splits.  It is always difficult as a beekeeper to lose a hive.  I am hopeful that I will increase my hives back up to six again this year.  It will soon be Spring and with that my bee population will grow exponentially.  I will bet splitting my hives again will bring me 6 hives very soon.  



On a sad note it was not a great year for my animals.  We had to put Snickers down, our Dachshund of 13 years.  He had suffered with vertebrae and disc issues for years and finally was unable to walk or enjoy life.  I also lost all five of my chickens, who were not just chickens but my pets.  I wish I had blogged about them especially since they gave me such joy.  They all had names and were very spoiled “Girls”.  Every day they enjoyed fresh papaya from my yard and would coming running when I came home from work.  They occasionally would come in the house for treats.  Petunia would actually sit on my lap and loved sitting with us.  They were much more than just chickens to me.  I came home from work one day to find 3 chickens dead and two more had passed by the next day.  The necropsy was negative but I think they must have gotten into some poison or something.  It was very hard losing them.  I have almost gotten more chickens several times, but I’ve always been afraid a hawk or predator would get them.  Losing them again would be very difficult.  Also since I am fixing up the yard I’m not really sure if it’s a good idea to have chickens again, since they will probably destroy the landscaping very quickly.  I am very glad I got to experience raising backyard chickens.  Maybe someday I will have some again.  Who knows??



Well, that’s a brief synopsis of everything that has happened over the last year in my life.  I look forward to having grandchildren and pray that all are well and my children have easy and uneventful births.  I will continue to set goals to grow my business of beekeeping and soap making.  I will try to be faithful to my blog and continue to keep those that follow me updated on my adventures in my backyard and my artisan lifestyle.   

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