Butterfly Professionals Conference A Celebration of 15 Years
San Antonio, Texas
The conference has now ended.
(With grateful thanks for sponsorship "Above and Beyond!")
(Flutterby Gardens is sponsoring the Saturday Night Margaritas)
(SkyRiver Butterflies is sponsoring the Thursday Night Wine Reception)
We offer a grateful "Thankyou!" to our conference sponsors.
Please see the Sponsorship section to see how you too can become a Butterfly Professionals Conference Sponsor!
Conference Photos & Feedback.
Dale McClung was recognized as Honorary Lifetime Member and thanked for his years of service at the conference. This beautiful display shows just a few of the butterflies that Dale has raised over the years as a way to always remember his butterfly career.
The display was created by Byron Foster and donated by David Foster on behalf of our Conference Premier Sponsor, Butterfly Wing Bling.
What a great time it was! And so much to learn.
Thank you to all!
Vibrant Wings Butterflies
<< The IBBA 15th Anniversary Cake!
I hate conventions because they always need to end! It is hard enough to say good bye to a dear friend after a great weekend and saying good bye to 90 friends is 90 times harder. But WOW what a great time it was. To Kathy, Tatia and the Joint Conference committee, Thank You so much for putting together such a well organized event. It had to be the only time in history that an event actually ran on schedule!
Wings of Enchantment Butterfly Farm
Didn't get to say goodbye to everyone because I had to get up at 3:00 am but thanks all for a wonderful convention. I think one of the best by far.
The convention was amazing! Hope we can do it again next year:)
Thanks for all your hard work putting these 2 groups together. It was so great seeing everyone!!!!
Thank you again!
What a great time. Met many new friends and made many more. Learned so much it will take a year to process it all. By then it will be convention time again. Thanks to all and we'll see you soon.
It was great fun and and load full of information!
What a diverse, fun group. Loved it.
Val and Bruce Ware
It was great to see everyone!!
Todd L. Stout
<< Rick Mikula
Todd Stout, Steve O'Neil and
WOW! What a great idea to bring us all together for a fantastic conference.
It could not have been better. It far exceeded my expectations. And to spend time with Chip Taylor - priceless. What an incredible man he is.
Thank you to Kathy, Tatia, and the conference committees. You did a super job. And to Rick, I say thank you for being a stand that we celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the IBBA as a united group of professional butterfly breeders. It was so nice to get to be with old friends.
Hello all.......we finally made it back late last night ( Tuesday ) from all of our travels and appointments. It was really nice for one of the first email I saw was the one sent from Cornelius. Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes...to be honest..we did put a lot into this conference....we also donated to the auction, made the acrylic box given to Dale and more. The real point is we do believe in the future of the butterfly industry and want to do what we can to help. I've been working "behind the scenes" for most of the last couple of years trying to find ways to strengthen and protect this industry. I do have a strong business background and I have seen much larger industries destroyed by various outside interest. I'm not trying to be an alarmist, but the butterfly industry is very vulnerable. I have no doubt it can and will be protected and continue to grow and prosper, however it is going to take a lot of effort by more people than a handful and it is going to take making some changes that some are not going to like. It is those changes now that will give us a tomorrow. I believe if some of the changes are not made now because some don't want to do the extra work....then they won't have to worry about all the extra work in the future when they are out of business.
Thanks again to everyone. It was a pleasure to finally meet some of the people I have only known through email and BOD meetings. I am so impressed by the intelligence available in this group to tap into. I was truly impressed with Pat and Cornelius amongst others.
Butterfly Wing Bling, LLC
Patricia and I sat talking all day about the wonderful group of people we met this weekend. What amazed us was the amount of volunteer work and contributions from members that went into making this one awesome convention. There are so many examples that came to mind, but one I would like to highlight is David Foster and his company Butterfly Wing Bling. He donated $100 to each speaker, donated to Monarch Watch, and donated his time. It was a pleasure meeting him and his family. Also, it was David who brought in the IABES speaker with whom we might have an interesting future. Kudos to you, David!
And thank you one and all that we met and talked to!
Rainbow's End Farm
I have not had much time to sit down and say thanks to all the people who contributed to making this conference a success. There were many, many people who helped in so many ways, but if it hadn’t been for Rick sticking his neck out there to even suggest that AFB and IBBA work together on this, it might not have ever happened.
Thanks, Rick, for your bold suggestion and to everyone else for sticking it out even when it was hard to see if we’d be able to agree to make it work. I think this is one of the best things that we could have made happen.
WINGS of Enchantment Butterfly Farm
Thank You so much for your very kind words. Last year I was very fortunate enough to have been able to attend the annual gatherings of both great organizations. At each get together the one comment that seemed to be repeated often questioned the possibility of someday combining groups both into a mega-function. Since life is finite and many people expressed this similar desire the timing to say something just seemed right. I only brought their wishes to light and everyone else took it from there.
I deserve little credit for how it all the turned out because I actually had the easiest job of all by being asked to be the moderator for the joint committee meetings. The reason I say it was the easiest job of all is because from the get-go everyone worked together in harmony and I had nothing to do. The combined committee did the real blood and sweat work. They are the ones who organized the speakers, decided on a silent auction, arranged for River Walk tour and the field trip and thought of all the wonderful little tidbits in between. They all just jelled together under a common cause and that is why the convention was such a smash.
I have to say that my absolute, absolute, most favorite moment at the conference is when I walk into the meeting room and saw 100+ 8 year olds beaming over their beautifully painted butterfly dishes. Every plate was a masterpiece and everyone was a (well deserved to be) proud artist. But no one had to look any farther to see that every person in that room was basically the same. They all shared the same passion for butterflies, the same passion to share ideas, and the same passion to grow their livelihoods. When I saw so many different people that were so much alike I knew that 'You' all did the right thing in deciding to let it happen.
So my congratulations and thanks go out to each and every member from both great organizations for making our family reunion in San Antonio such a success.
I’d like to thank John Wilchynski, Marilyn Schmidt, Rhonda Stephens and Kelly Calabresi for working with me to gather all the butterflies together that were needed for Dale’s gift. David Foster’s work is just beautiful. Go check out the pics from the convention to see what I’m jabbering on about.
Connie Hodsdon Flutterby Gardens of Manatee, Inc.
I just wanted to say the convention was thoroughly enjoyable in San Antonio.
I also want to express my deep appreciation for the mounted display box given to me at the convention and thank all those, especially Byron who made the display so beautifully (it did make it back intact - whew ...) and my friends who masterfully keep this such a good secret.
I was totally surprised.
Florida Monarch Butterfly Farm
The following is the timetable for the "Butterfly Professionals Conference".
More detailed information about the presentations and presenters can be found below.
THURSDAY November 7
Butterfly Hunt/Field Trip - (meet in hotel lobby)
Raising Painted Ladies
Reception and Meet the Authors
FRIDAY November 8
Secret World of Monarch Metamorphosis
12:00-12:30 AFB Board Meeting
IBBA Member Meeting
Riverwalk - (meet in hotel lobby)
SATURDAY November 9
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
USDA Update with Wayne Wehling
Lunch and State of the Industry
Hybridponics and Aeroponics (this is a two-part presentation)
Working with Exhibits
Exhibits for Fairs
Dinner - Silent Auction ends
Keynote - Chip Taylor - Monarch Conservation
SUNDAY November 10
Breakfast at hotel
Early wrap-up and good byes
Monarch Conservation: The Challenges and Opportunities
(Keynote Presentation) - by Chip Taylor of Monarch Watch
Seven years ago, in recognition that habitats for monarchs are declining at a rate of 6000 acres a day in the United States, Monarch Watch created the Monarch Waystation program. The goal of this program is to inspire the public, schools and others to create habitats for monarch butterflies and to assist Monarch Watch in educating the public about the decline in resources for monarchs, pollinators and all wildlife that share the same habitats.
I have been studying the effects of climate on monarch populations for several years and climate change really has me worried. Higher temperatures are likely to negatively affect monarch populations by reducing reproductive success and altering the distribution and abundances of milkweed species on which the monarchs depend.
Chip Taylor: Orley R. "Chip" Taylor, Founder and Director of Monarch Watch; Professor Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.
Trained as an insect ecologist, Chip Taylor has published papers on species assemblages, hybridization, reproductive biology, population dynamics and plant demographics and pollination. Starting in 1974, Chip Taylor established research sites and directed students studying Neotropical African honey bees (killer bees) in French Guiana, Venezuela, and Mexico. In 1992, as the bee research was coming to an end, Taylor founded Monarch Watch, an outreach program focused on education, research and conservation relative to monarch butterflies. Through the last 20 years Monarch Watch has enlisted the help of volunteers to tag monarchs during the fall migration. This program has produced many new insights into the dynamics of the monarch migration.
Chip Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org
Monarch Watch http://www.MonarchWatch.org/
Dplex-L: send message "info Dplex-L" to Listproc@ku.edu
1-888-TAGGING -or- 1-785-864-4441
University of Kansas
1200 Sunnyside Avenue
Lawrence, KS 66045-7534
Create, Conserve, and Protect Monarch Habitats
Raising Painted Ladies* - by Tatia Veltkamp and David Folk
Come learn a variety of methods for raising Painted Ladies! Already raise them? Great! Come share your knowledge with us. We will walk thru the process from egg laying to selecting breeders. We’ll talk about raising on host plant and instant diet, with hand outs on suppliers and equipment needed. And we’ll have everything there (not just pictures) so you can see what we use in our processes.
Tatia Veltkamp has been raising butterflies for over 12 years. She has worked with the Xerces Society on habitat restoration for the Monarch butterfly in New Mexico. She has worked with Southwest Monarch Study in Arizona to study the migration patterns of Monarch butterflies. In 2010 she started Wings of Enchantment Butterfly Farm, which brings educational programs on the life cycle of the butterfly to the public and sells butterflies for release at special occasions and butterfly life cycle kits.
(For David Folk's bio please see the Mobile Exhibits presentation below)
A Systematic Approach to Raising Monarchs Using Standard Operating Procedures* - by Connie Hodsdon
A variety of methods will be discussed to give a beginner the tools needed to successfully raise big, beautiful, OE free healthy monarchs. Standard operating procedures that we follow on our farm will be featured along with the recipes, resources, formulas, tips and techniques, and tools we employ. Disease prevention, testing for OE, and preventing OE will all be discussed. We will follow the life cycle of the monarch from beginning to end, covering breeder selection, egg production, caterpillar care, sanitation, and the testing procedures used. I will cover timing, projections, planning, packaging & shipping of eggs, cats, adults. There will be something for everyone, new or experienced.
Connie Hodsdon Flutterby Gardens was created in 1998 by Connie Hodsdon with the intention of connecting people with nature through butterflies. Butterfly garden design and installation was where she first started, then the business evolved into a butterfly garden center and butterfly farm. As the butterfly release business grew, Connie's focus was on producing a variety of butterflies and lots of them. Connie founded the NABA-Manasota Chapter in 1999 for the residents of Bradenton and Sarasota Florida to have the opportunity to come together and to learn how to attract butterflies into their own gardens. Connie's context for her life is she's having so much fun she doesn't know if she's working or playing, and neither does anyone else!
*These topics are for all experience levels and include disease prevention and Oe of Monarchs
Parasitoids - by Edith Smith
Parasitoids of butterflies and moths take a toll on survival rates of butterflies and moths in nature and also often affect survival rates at butterfly farms. The presentation is focused on parasitoids that infect eggs, larvae, and pupae of species raised by butterfly farmers but will have information about parasitoids that affect other species. From their access, to prevention, to control, to eradication (including overwintering methods of parasitoids) we will discuss the life cycles of these parasitoids with a focus on preventing loss of larvae and pupae from parasitoid infection.
Butterfly Breeding: Edith and Stephen began their life together (dating and marriage) with a focus on butterflies but waited over 25 years to turn to butterfly farming simply because they didn’t know such a profession existed. By accident, they stumbled into butterfly farming at their herb nursery in 1999. Within a year, they were raising up to and over a thousand butterflies per week.
Parasitoid Interest: Edith spent many hours wandering and collecting various moth and butterfly caterpillars for education and photography purposes. As she did so, she realized that there were more parasitoids than most people realize and began her small collection of parasitoids. The second year of rearing butterflies, chalcid wasps became an issue at the farm. As they learned about these little critters, they realized that it was essential to totally eradicate these creatures if they were to sell pupae to brokers, farmers, and exhibits. Edith’s experiments with parasitoids caused her corner of the office to be nicknamed “Mama’s Nasty Experiments”. The experiments paid off. Watching the actions of chalcid wasps brought home how well they can find butterfly caterpillars to infect the soft pupa.
Hybridponics - by Rick Mikula and Cornelius Du Plessis
Put the fun back into butterfly breeding!
Rick Mikula has been raising butterflies for 33 years and invented the idea of releasing them at weddings. He is a past president and BOD member of the IBBA, past vice president of education for the Canadian Butterfly Breeders and Exhibitors Association, past Secretary and Treasurer for the New Jersey Lepidopterist Society, and severed on the BOD of the Center for Landscape Design & Stewardship. For many years he also taught at Rutgers University for their Kids at Risk program and within their Monroe Township Correctional Facility program. Rick has written several books about butterflies and has served as staff writer for various magazines as well and has appeared on many TV shows including Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel. Rick is a veteran of over 4,000 workshops and presentations including appearances at the Library of Congress, The Smithsonian Institute.
Cornelius Du Plessis: My wife and I own Rainbow's End Butterfly Farm & Nursery on a 100 acre farm in New York where we have emphasized conservation, habitat restoration and education. We have farmed butterflies commercially for 8 years and in the past year we had 3000 school children in a 6 week span walk our meadows, visit our flight house, and learn about composting and sustainability. In our off-season we farm and experiment with butterflies on our ranchette in Florida. I think life is one feasibility study after the next and farm butterflies for the love of it!
Judi will share how she has reduced her milkweed growing time in half and substantially increased the total leaf mass by converting to an aeroponics growing system. With materials found at your local hardware store, she will show you how you can easily and inexpensively build your own system! Come prepared to be amazed at time-lapse photos showing how quickly these plants grow!!
Judi Sunshine turned her long-time passion for butterflies and plants into a viable business in 2012 by starting Wingin’ It Butterfly Farm. Along with raising and selling a variety of butterflies for release, Wingin’ It is also a North Carolina-licensed nursery specializing in aeroponically-grown milkweed. Judi is also part of the team that operates “THE online shopping place for ALL butterfly enthusiasts!”www.ButterflyFarmingSupplies.com.
Mobile Exhibits - Design, Education & Profit - by David Folk
The presentation will assist is design, transport, setup and operation of a mobile exhibit.
David is first a Butterfly Farmer first and a large format copier technician (has insurance) as my full time job. This is our 9th season in the butterfly business. Folk’s Butterfly Farm is the direct result of my daughter Kristie’s Supervised Ag Experience project with FFA. She earned several awards and competed at the national level in Agri-Business. The butterfly business has grown from a school project to include retail & wholesale butterfly and butterfly related items, mobile exhibits in three different sizes and educational presentations both at the farm and in the community. Joan quit her job in March of 2013 to farm butterflies and I hope to follow her soon.
David & Joan Folk
Eugene & Kristie Good Family Business
Media, Marketing and the Butterfly Business - by Monika Maeckle & Guest Panel
With paid, earned, owned, and shared media tools filling up your marketing arsenal, there’s plenty of ways to get the word out about your butterfly business these days. In this session, we’ll hear from a panel of seasoned breeder professionals, including Edith Smith of Shady Oak Butterfly Farm, Todd Stout of Raising Butterflies and Rose Franklin of Rose Franklin's Perennials. The panel will share some of the media and marketing ploys that have worked for them. Moderated by Monika Maeckle.
Monika Maeckle has worked more than 25 years in media and marketing. Currently she serves as Director of Integrated Communications for CPS Energy, the largest municipally owned electric and gas utility in the country. In her spare time, Monika raises butterflies, puts her skills as a Master Gardener to good use and writes for the Texas Butterfly Ranch, a website she founded that celebrates the life cycle of butterflies and the plants that sustain them.
Replicate this hands-on art workshop in schools or with community groups to educate and generate profit. You'll leave with your very own artwork and handouts highlighting the relevant national educational learning standards in both visual arts and sciences. As a standard offering at our butterfly birthday parties, this project costs us $1.50 but raises $12.00 per child. You don't need to be an artist to lead this workshop on your own!
The talk I will be giving is “Attract Butterflies to Your Garden”. Learn the necessary components of a Butterfly Garden. Want Monarchs, Black Swallowtails, or American Lady butterflies in your landscape? Choose the butterflies you would like to see and plant for them. Planting the right plants will ensure that you will have them.
I am the author of "Learn About Butterflies in the Garden", owner of Brenda's Butterfly Habitat, a Co-founder and past president of Southeast Michigan Butterfly Association (SEMBA), a member of Association For Butterflies (AFB), North American Butterfly Association (NABA), and Wildflower Association of Michigan (WAM). I’m an Advanced Master Gardener and was awarded “Master Gardener of the Year 2007” for Wayne County by Michigan State University Extension. The Master Gardener Association of Wayne County awarded me the MGAWC 2008 Dean Krauskopf, Ph.D. Educational Outreach Award. My yard is certified by SEMBA as a Native Butterfly Garden, Monarch Watch as a Monarch Waystation and the National Wildlife Federation as a Wildlife Habitat. From 2002 through 2012, I have raised over 4000 butterflies from eggs I have found in my small backyard.
A few of the local newspapers that have written articles about my butterfly garden and Brenda's Butterfly Habitat are: The Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Observer & Eccentric Newspapers, and the Journal Newspapers.
Senator Laura Toy, Representative Richard LeBlanc, and Mayor Sandra Cicirelli sent letters of congratulations, after reading the articles in the newspapers.
A few of the places that I have given lectures at are: Wildflower Association of Michigan, Master Gardener meetings, MSU Tollgate Farm, nurseries, garden clubs, WildOnes: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes, DTE Energy Company, Canton City Leisure Services, Wild Birds Unlimited, Audubon Societies, and schools on butterfly gardening. I've been on the Green Room television program - "Interview with Brenda Dziedzic, a woman who raises and attracts butterflies in her yard by using the native plants they depend on" Ann Arbor, MI CitiTV Channel 19, "Nature in the Hills - Brenda's Butterfly Habitat" City of Farmington Hills Video Division,
"Issues of the Environment" WEMU 89.1 AM, and "The Gardening Show" with Dean Krauskopf WJR 760 AM. I also had a program “How to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden” on Westland, MI Public TV - WLND, which was filmed while I was giving a talk at the Westland Public Library.
Update on regulations and permitting questions - Wayne Wehling, USDA APHIS Pest Permitting
Wayne will update us on USDA regulations and will answer our permitting questions.
Wayne Wehling: A childhood fascination with insects carried me to Colorado St. Univ. for a BS in Entomology and BS in Zoology then Washington St. Univ. for an MS in Entomology and Ph.D in Zoology. My doctoral work was on population genetics of host plant utilization in butterflies. A post-doc at Michigan St. Univ. led to positions as insect Collection Manager and Director of Outreach for the Entomology Dept. Since 1999 I have been with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in Riverdale, MD as a Senior Entomologist working with permitting and regulatory policy. Primarily I focus on live insect imports for education, zoo exhibits, and butterfly displays. I am also responsible for regulations and policy for honey bees and other pollinators. My professional interests surround the promotion and use of Arthropods in science education. I view myself as a Lepidopterist and insect ecologist.
Wayne Wehling, PhD
USDA APHIS PPQ
Pest Permitting Branch
4700 River Rd., Unit 133
Riverdale, MD 20737
New Phone: 301-851-2336
FAX: 301-734-8700 email@example.com
Metamorphosis Revealed in The Secret World of a Monarch’s Metamorphosis - by Sue Schuldt
I am a working mom who grew up on a farm and living the last 35+ years in the city as a recreational butterfly farmer. I like to think of myself as a butterfly enthusiast and citizen scientist, as every summer I grow my garden to host as many butterflies as I can raise, hatch and release.
In 2009, I had a monarch caterpillar that left an open window in its chrysalis that allowed me to observe and photograph the incredible changes that take place in complete metamorphosis, and I will be sharing my one-of-a-kind photographs of that experience and additional anomalies since then in my presentation.
My book, The Secret World of a Monarch’s Metamorphosis, tells the story of how Bessie the Butterfly was a miracle in the lifecycle of the monarch and offers photographic answers to a complex question of scientists and butterfly fans…what really happens in the cloaked world of complete metamorphosis?
Susan Langerock Schuldt
Author and Photographer of: The Secret World of a Monarch’s Metamorphosis.
Contact Sue at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 605.366.2837
Pests: Stop the Invasion -
An open discussion dealing with common pest problems that can plague butterfly breeders. Bring your Best Practices to share in this open forum.
Working with Exhibits - by Dr. Nancy Greig
Nancy will discuss how a tropical butterfly exhibit operates, how to comply with regulations, and what butterfly breeders need to know in order to work with these exhibits.
Dr. Nancy Greig has worked as director of the Cockrell Butterfly Center at the Houston Museum of Natural Science since 1994. Prior to working at the Butterfly Center she received a PhD in plant ecology and insect/plant interactions from the University of Texas at Austin, and taught field courses in tropical biology in Costa Rica. An enthusiastic naturalist, she has traveled or led trips to a variety of tropical climes, including Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Brazil, Ecuador and the Galapagos, Thailand, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
Because of her years at the Cockrell Butterfly Center, butterflies have become a special interest. She was a founding member and served on the board of the Houston chapter of the North American Butterfly Association, the "Butterfly Enthusiasts of Southeast Texas", or BEST-NABA, and frequently gives presentations on butterflies and/or butterfly gardening in and around Houston.
Nancy Greig , PhD
Director, Cockrell Butterfly Center
Houston Museum of Natural Science
5555 Hermann Park Drive
Houston , TX 77030-1799
Tel 713-639-4742 www.hmns.org