Wednesday, January 19, 2011

2011 Monarch Butterfly Season Coming Up Soon

Hello Everyone!

What an exciting year 2010 was.  Personally I raised over 60 Monarchs bringing my lifetime total to 2060.  At first, I was disappointed that I didn't raise more.  I'm typically used to rearing hundreds a season.  However, there were several factors that contributed to my low numbers.

1.  Environment.  The environment here in south Texas is a bit different than what I am used to in Georgia.  It's hotter, more humid, and more arid at the same time.  It's an unusual experience living here on the coast.

2.  Predators.  There are predators here that I didn't experience in Georgia.  The Tacinid flies are particularly rough here.  Fire ants too decimated close to one hundred of my caterpillars.

What I will Do Different This Year:

1.  Start Early.  I plan to start earlier this year than last.  Hopefully we can get an early jump on the predators and raise a batch or two before the flies and ants get too bad.

2.  Keep The Caterpillars Cool.  I think some of my caterpillars and butterflies overheated last summer.  Again, it's way hotter down here than what I am used to.  So, I plan to relocate my butterfly pavilion to a spot that will get more shade and less full sun.  We'll see how it goes.

3.  Keep It Simple.  I like to go all out on projects that I work on.  However, a lot can be accomplished with a minimal investment.  So, my goal is to raise as many butterflies as possible on a small budget.

So, I'm setting a small goal for myself of raising 70+ Monarchs this year.  Will I make it?  I'll keep you posted.

Happy Monarching!

Caleb Warren