Looking at the bigger picture and taking smaller steps – butterflies and bees

Our current home is in a neighborhood with lots about 0.25 acres in size, a far ways from being even small hobby farms. This limits some activities in which I can engage, though many can still be done on a smaller scale.

These past three years have seen our yard and gardens begin to take shape. My over arching goals have included: production of food, planting of natives, attracting beneficial insects, and adding beauty to the yard. I am on my way there though by no means have I arrived.

While I have started a butterfly garden it is still wanting of a multitude of plants. It is a hard location to grow plants in due to the limited direct sun it receives and drier condition of that microclimate. However it is the perfect use for that spot as it is one of those weird corners which otherwise would not be used. The challenge has been accepted and I am trying various flowering plants this year in hopes for finding several which will thrive in this area.

Another step I have decided to take without Perfection being present is looking into becoming a backyard beekeeper. This is something I have wanted to do for years but knew was not the right time. When details line up, though, you can either act or dilly-dally and find yourself 5 years down the road still hemming and hawing about wanting to do this Thing.

I signed up for a class with the local beekeepers club, began to resell more items to save towards equipment, and have thought about where exactly in my yard to put them to both benefit the hive and reduce annoyance to neighbors.

While fairly confident honey bees would not bother the neighbors I want to do the neighborly thing and talk to them before taking any steps in making the investment to equipment. One has voiced her concerns about bees swarming/flying around her in larger numbers; another, I suspect, will have concerns about their pool; the third I do not foresee issues with but want to wait a bit to talk with them as we are dealing with other newly developed “neighborly” issues with their teenager and his “cool” car.

I have been reading, watching YouTube videos and talking with current beekeepers. If I had major concerns about the closeness of others I would not do this. Being a good neighbor is important I believe and one reason I have not planted large deciduous hardwood trees next to the neighbors with a pool.

“Oh yes, I have this little “garden pollination hive”, it’s not a real bee hive, it is mostly used by organic gardeners and people that have apple trees”

The above is one of my favorite lines from this post concerning honey beekeeping and neighbors by the BackYardHive. I think it would also go a long way in helping my neighbors and husband to understand why I am wanting to begin this new hobby.

How is your garden planning coming for the year? The New Year was only 2 weeks ago. What small steps have you taken towards achieving your goals for the year? What steps are you taking this week?