Being a farm brings unique complications. For one, you are at the mercy of the seasons. And what a slow, cold spring it has been! Just when we think we might be warming up, we’re hit with a week of 30 degree nights. Or a snow day in April.
And it isn’t only Kentucky. Temperate states throughout the country have been locked in periods of unseasonable cold.
So what does this mean for the butterfly business? It means…
- delayed planting of annual garden flora
- a lack of nectar-rich plants to feed butterflies
- host plant foliage hasn’t leafed out enough to support large populations of caterpillars
- the monarch migration struggles as northbound migratory populations are faced with a low biomass of milkweed foliage
- hibernating butterflies are slower to emerge and struggle for resources
- butterflies cannot be released into such cold weather
For Idlewild Butterfly Farm, this cold spring has meant many delays for the start of butterfly season. This is what we are expecting so far:
- For the health and longevity of our butterflies, butterflies for release will be available starting mid-May (after Mother’s Day).
- Butterfly chrysalides will be available starting mid-May (or on Mother’s Day weekend as part of a Mother’s Day gift box).
- Caterpillar kits will be available starting the last week of April, and initial availability will only include painted lady larvae. Monarch kits will come at a later date (to be announced).
- Butterfly/chrysalis/caterpillar species availability will vary. We apologize if your favorite butterfly is not available initially.
- Also due to the extended winter, our stock of ladybugs will be limited. Cold weather hit them hard as well, and native ladybug supplies throughout the industry are at a low.
Fortunately, delays do not mean stoppage! We are looking forward to the rest of spring and the start of summer to really help us flourish, and you have our sincerest gratitude for your patience as we deal with these cold-weather delays.
Thank you from everyone at Idlewild Butterfly Farm. We can’t wait to see you this year!