Monarchs In Captivity

docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)December 18, 2013

I'm just wondering if anyone has been able to keep Monarchs alive over the winter in captivity? Since they enter a relatively dormant phase upon arrival in Mexico, I wonder if they could be kept in a climate controlled situation and at least the first generation of eggs laid in the spring could be raised in a protected environment free of predators or OE? I understand that would be very complicated and fraught with unknown variables, but does anyone know if it has been attempted? Or could some of the Monarchs that do reach the overwintering site be captured before they leave in the spring, at least temporarily, to collect eggs and raise those cats on milkweed that has been grown in a protected area?

I have enough milkweed seed collected that I could supply a huge batch of seedlings in the spring. I mean acres, literally. I just want so desperately to help in some meaningful way. I don't want last summer to have been my last experience with Monarchs.


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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

I knew a woman in the '70s and '80s who raised monarchs year round in her basement. I never thought to ask her if she had overcome any problems when she first started doing it. By the time I knew her, she had her routine down pat. Basically a monarch/milkweed greenhouse setup.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 1:40PM
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bernergrrl(z5 IL)


Check out this site--they are trying to raise money; if we all just gave $10, it would help them reach their goal of getting the word out about Monarchs and helping them.

I am feeling more hopeful about them, but we still need that sense of urgency about them and all other butterflies.

Spread the word, write letters to your local papers: here's mine that I did recently:!/

Our school garden is a Monarch Waystation, and I'll be writing about why that's important. Our Wild Ones chapter is also trying to help other schools create butterfly gardens, and we've collected milkweed seeds, and a local college is going to work with us to grow plants that we can either use in plantings or sell as a fundraiser. We'll be joining in parades and other town events.

If you can find some like-minded individuals around you, you can feel like you are not alone and spread the word about what's happening to insects, etc out there.

Here is a link that might be useful: Moving for Monarchs

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 2:21PM
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There are many, many people who love to watch butterflies as they flit through the air slowly and gracefully. If you never have, you certainly should! Butterflies provide beauty in an often ugly world. They give us insight into the world of nature and how wonderful and complex it is. But the butterfly is much more than that.
Butterflies are some of the most beautiful and interesting creatures on Earth. A butterfly garden is an easy way to see more butterflies and to help them, since many natural butterfly habitats have been lost to human activities like building homes, roads and farms. It is easy to increase the number and variety of butterflies in your yard.
Creating a butterfly garden should start with some serious research to learn which kinds of butterflies are native to your area. You can learn that from this book âÂÂAttract Butterflies To Your GardenâÂÂ.
Here are some points you should focus:
A. Make a list of all of the different kinds of butterflies you would like to attract, and then learn which flowers and plants they both feed on and lay eggs on.
B. Plant the âÂÂButterfly Host Plantsâ to lay their eggs on.
C. You can add some butterfly garden accessories like a Butterfly House, which has slots the ideal size for keeping birds out while giving butterflies protection from the wind and weather, and are beautiful garden decorations. You could offer an additional nectar source close by to supplement your flowers.
D. Once you have designed and started your butterfly garden, you can be proud that you have made a habitat for butterflies in your own yard, which helps with the conservation of the many species of quickly disappearing butterflies today. You will certainly want to place your favorite outdoor furniture near so that you can enjoy all of your visitors day after day.

Here is a link that might be useful: Attract Butterflies To Your Garden

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 9:05AM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

I got a private message through the butterfly garden forum from straycats. The message was asking for the information that I sent docmom. The problem is that straycats did not provide an email address for me to send the information and that I cannot reply to that message. I am posting this message here in hopes of reaching straycats to let them know that I will need an email address if they want the information.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 12:30PM
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