Growing butterflies-it’s not something I’d usually grow in my house I’ll be honest. But when Insect Lore sent the children some live caterpillars, various accessories, and an actual butterfly garden, and I saw the excitement and fascination on their little faces, I came round to the idea a tad!
Who are Insect Lore?
In 1965 Founder Carlos White, an entomologist from California, working with insects in the agricultural industry, thought; “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if children could see the miraculous metamorphosis of butterflies up close?”
He was inspired to develop an educational kit that would allow people of all ages to witness the metamorphosis of real, live butterflies in their own homes or classrooms. After much research, he decided that the Painted Lady butterfly was the ideal candidate for the kit, because this species is found almost everywhere in the world and has a positive impact on the environment.
Insect Lore Europe, are actually based in Cornwall in England, and Painted Lady caterpillars travel from there to destinations throughout the United Kingdom and the European Union.
We were sent everything we needed to give our caterpillars the best start. They arrived live in a see-through pot (that may have spent 24 hours in the post office-who I don’t think realised the contents of the parcel were alive).
Also included in the kit was;
- A butterfly habitat for when the caterpillars are ready to change into butterflies.
- A Chrysalis Display Log-to help you view the caterpillars in their chrysalises.
- Flower-shaped Butterfly Feeder and Cup Holder
For the first day or so, the caterpillars were quite small and didn’t move a lot-but the instructions mentioned this would be the case so we weren’t unduly worried.
The temperature also plays a big part in how long the metamorphosis takes, and, as this September appears to be rather chilly, I think this made the changes take a little longer.
The children talked to the caterpillars each day, and my daughter especially, would constantly call us out into the kitchen to see one moving, or one making it’s way to the top of the plastic cup.
Unfortunately, only 4 out of our 5 made it to form their chrysalides-the fifth made ‘his’ on the bed of food.
My husband tried his best to continue the evolving process, by putting the chrysalis into the bottom of the butterfly house next to the rest. The first butterfly to emerge, was the fifth-who the husband named ‘Barry’.
As ‘Barry’s’ brothers/sisters emerged, it did become clear he was smaller than them, and his left wing was damaged-but he kept slowly growing all the same
When we released the butterflies, ‘Barry’ wouldn’t fly, so we took another couple of days getting him stronger and making sure he could fly. We left the butterfly house outside-where he could leave of his own accord.
We obviously don’t know how far he got, or how long he survived-but my husband is thrilled that “his butterfly” made it into the big wide world.
These really are an educational, fun activity to involve your children in-the process is learnt about at school, so seeing it first hand has a really positive effect on them!
You can find out more about Insect Lore by visiting their website HERE-all prices and options are on there-as well as additional care information.
I was sent this product in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own.