Join Me next Tuesday, Feb 4, at 7:00pm, at the South Texas Botanical Gardens!

Bee Pollinating Sunflower

Bee Pollinating Sunflower

Friends, join me for a unique and interesting discussion about bees next Tuesday, Feb 4, from 7:00pm to 7:30pm.  The event is sponsored by the Coastal Bend Audubon Society and will be held at the South Texas Botanical Gardens, 8545 South Staples, Corpus Christi, 78413View map.

This event is free and open to the public.  All ages welcome!

Thank you friends for spreading the word about this event.  Please support the Audubon Society with your presence at this free event.  The Coastal Bend Audubon Society is dedicated to a culture of conservation and the appreciation and stewardship of our natural resources.

This presentation, “Bees Seen through a Gardener’s Eyes”, will focus on how pollination works, the electric fields of flowers, attracting bees to your garden year-round, and a little about wasps as well.

“Bees Seen through a Gardener’s Eyes” with Justin Butts

What: A presentation about bees and how to bring them to your garden.

When: Tuesday, Feb 4, from 7:00pm to 7:30pm.

Where:  South Texas Botanical Gardens, 8545 South Staples, Corpus Christi, 78413.  The meeting will be held in the classrooms to the left of the entrance of the Botanical Gardens.

Who:  All ages are welcome!

2 responses

  1. I don’t think we will be able to make the drive, but we thank you for presenting this workshop! Yes bees are critical!

    I do have a question for you about As we continue to put together our little 5 acre dairy farm, building it inch by inch, from the soil up. One of my children is allergic to bees. During swarming seasons, she often has to stay indoors, because the bees that pass through can sometimes be a bit grumpy. I want to have a garden area where bees are welcome, but I also need to keep my daughter safe. I have thought about preparing an area away from our house and play area. Practically speaking, the water and full sun areas are near the house, and the animals are better suited away from the house because the property is more shaded in the lower pastures.

    We may actually focus on more of an agroforest approach, but for right now, I am looking at several options, including 3 large fields of various fruits, vegetables, and other flowering plants…all of these are near the house.

    How do we attract and keep bees without endangering our daughter?

    Thanks for your insights,

    Mary On Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 3:09 PM, Four String Farm wrote:

    • Hello Mary! I would love to see pictures of your place! I am so interested in what you are doing with your dairy farm! At the risk of overstepping my bounds, I will gladly share some thoughts with you about the bees and your little girl, from my experience as a child, and also as a farmer.

      When I was baby, back in the early 1970’s, I contracted spinal meningitis. As I am told, I nearly died of the disease, and spent time in a coma, and the doctors said that if I survived, I would certainly never recover my health. From age two through about age eight, I was an extremely sickly child. I had no immune system to speak of, and was allergic to everything. Simply touching a tomato or watermelon to my cheek would cause me to become violently ill.

      For this reason, I spent most of my time indoors. I learned a love of reading as a child, but I still remember looking out the window, watching the other children play, and wanting to be with them. Once, I went out into the yard with my mom close by, and was stung by a bee, and I still remember the crisis this caused, and how all the adults rushed me inside, and I think we wound up at the hospital all day because of that sting.

      I eventually recovered my health, and when I was able to go outside, in a sense, I never came back in! I have lived an outdoor life and have explored forests, jungles, deserts, and mountains all over the world. Because of the meningitis, my immune system never fully recovered, so I still to this day get bizarre rashes and reactions (some that have put me in the hospital) from simply brushing against a plant. Over all this time, I have been bitten by scorpions, spiders, wasps, ants, dogs, cats, braying donkeys, bees, a water moccasin, mosquitoes in Central America bigger than a hummingbirds, and every other type of thing that stings, scratches, or bites. But I would not trade one beautiful day in the forest for all those bites.

      So, back to my farm. I have a six year old daughter, and a three month old little girl. I have protected my six-year-old as best as possible from all the biting things on our pioneer farm, and I always keep a very sharp eye on her. She works with me often out-of-doors, so she is continually exposed to all the creepy/crawly things of our place.

      During her entire childhood, she has only been bitten ONE TIME by a bee. But that bee sting was not on our farm, which is always full of bees and wasps. That bee sting happened at a roadside park on Hwy 281! And there were not even any plants around that park!!!

      All I mean to say in this long reply, is that it is very difficult to protect our children from every danger, and sometimes the threats come from the most unexpected places. I have seen my daughter standing in swarms of bees, and she got stung by a lone bee while sitting on a concrete bench! We do everything you can to protect our sweet girls, but sometimes things happen. We don’t want to expose our girls to risks, but we also don’t want them to spend their childhood looking out the window.

      If one of our girls had that bad bee allergy, I would get the epinephrine injector for the bee sting, and make sure I always kept the prescription current. I would keep a pack with me, keep one in the car or wherever we go, and one in the shed, to make sure that if she is stung, we can give her first aid until we get to medical professional. (I have done this very thing with myself, when I went on long solo hikes in the wilderness, so I didn’t go into shock and become unable to self-rescue.) We always make sure someone has an eye on the little one, in case something happens. I know that you already do all of these things.

      This is not the best answer, that our little ones may get stung, because we never want any harm to come to these sweet children. But as you build your farm, you want everyone to enjoy the experience and be a part of it. I am not sure how to reduce the risk of a bee sting in an operation like yours, because there will definitely be bees around, and bees scout up to five miles from their hive–there is always a risk of stings. Sometimes the hardest thing is to find a good balance in these issues. But I truly hope you are able to find this balance for your little girl. You are embarking on a wonderful journey in building your farm, and I wish all of you a joyful adventure!

      I am wishing you the very best, and would love to see pictures of your place! Thank you so much, Justin

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