Ask a Mentor:
The Ask a Mentor section contains a wealth of information supplied by, and for, IBBA members.
Items within each section are listed in the order received. TIP: Use Search IBBA to look for specific topics.

NOTE: Some of the topics listed here are password-protected and available to IBBA members only.

Ask a Mentor Archive

Creating a Butterfly Habitat Jay McRoberts
Winterizing Your Income Rick Mikula
Swallowtails: Raising/Breeding Tips Nigel Venters
Educational Presentations Cindy Hepp
Queens and Fritillaries Nigel Venters
Marketing and using the Spheres Eric Cope
Monarch Disease Control Jacob Groth
The Bridal Trade Show Julie Wood
Photographing Butterflies Paul Chesterfield
A "Touch of Class" with Brochures & Envelopes Edie McRoberts
Outdoor Exhibits Melanie McCarthy
Breeding the Painted Lady Garry Cousins
Buy wholesale livestock to increase your income Linda Rogers
Host Plans and Larvae in Educational Displays Deborah Payne
Cold Weather Regions: Breeding and Raising Melanie McCarthy
Accessorize your web-site, your presentations and your butterfly farm Kathleen Ziemer
Display Cages and Containers Ed Reinertsen
Milkweed propagation & Monarch attraction to Milkweeds Rose Franklin
Outdoor breeding and raising Leslie Lange
Red Admirals Nigel Venters
Let's get Organized Terry Fluke
Raising the Saturnid Silk Moths Don Adams
A Day at the Farm - notes compiled by Peggy Hatcher J Howard Garrett
Jay's Favorite Seeds and Plants Jay McRoberts
Educational Games & Activities Thea Ryan
Big Ed's Backyard Cafeteria Ed & Kathy Reinertsen
Two handouts: "Basic Organic Program" & "Sick Tree Treatment" Howard Garrett, the Dirt Doctor
Managing Your Inventory --
Planning Percentage Losses in Each Stage of the Lifecycle
Linda Rogers and Jacob Groth, with input from
Melanie McCarthy and Nigel Venters.
Butterfly Nectar" & "Overwintering IBBA Mailing List discussions
Experiments in growing A.currasavica D. Gary Geer
The Greathouse Butterfly Farm Travelling Exhibit Linda Rogers
"Teaching Butterfly Gardening and Plant Propagation Classes" Edith Smith
"Propagation From Stem & Root Cuttings" Edith Smith
A soapy pepper spray recipe for ants, aphids and spider mites Gary Geer
Building a "Caterpillar" Flight Cage Anne Collins
The Butterfly Booth Fran LeMasters
Making Compost in 2 Weeks! Doc Palmer
Making a Display Cage Anne Collins
Here Comes the Bride with BUTTERFLIES! Victoria Warner
Ideas for an Educational Presentation Phyllis Baker
Marketing Your Crafts for Money Barbara J. Bosco
Dry Water in the Greenhouse D. Gary Geer (MS Word document)
Totes Adapted for Rearing Larvae Edith Smith
Rick Mikula's Kinderflies Activity Kit Rick Mikula
Collecting Eggs Melanie McCarthy
Shipping Foam Nigel Venters
Hand-pairing Monarchs Nigel Venters
Larvae & Egg Shippers Linda Rogers
Two-Butterfly Release Envelope Jon & Cindy Timko
Companion Planting (Word doc from
Propagation for Beginners pdf file from College of Ag & Life Sciences, NC State U
Overwintering Monarchs Nigel Venters
Keeping Monarchs Nigel Venters
Secrets of the Talking Butterfly (pages from the popular IBBA booklet)
Triangular Release Box Instructions a design by Felicia Tappan
Raising Mourning Cloaks in a Barrel Patrick Ogletree
Commercial Butterfly Farmers Working With Funeral Directors Linda Rogers
Butterfly Delight Muffins & Butterfly Pie Puddles Linda Rogers
Scientific Names - Classification and Pronunciation Rick Mikula & Paul Chesterfield
Making a Write-a-pillar (or Caterpencil!) Rick Mikula
Presentations from the 2008 IBBA Convention, Costa Rica
- My Insect Farm
- Marketing with Monarchs
- Butterflies Diversity
- Madagascar Butterfly Project
- Arenal Butterfly Project
Nili Shahar
Jacqui Knight
Luis Ricardo Murillo Hiller

The Butterfly Conservatory
(PowerPoint presentations converted for browser viewing)
Temperature Chart to Regulate Livestock Growth Nigel Venters & Butterfly Boutique
Marketing Tips To Increase Your Bottom Line Suzanne & David Tilton
Artificial Diet for Monarchs Chip Taylor
Suggestions for Personal Protective Equipment (P.P.E.) for Butterfly Farming Activities Linda Rogers

Dave Wagner, Felix Sperling and Bruce Walsh
(Lepidopterists Society - Reproduced with permission)

Exhibit Discussion IBBA Mailing List discussion topic led by David Folk.
Monarch Pupae: Emerging & Storing (PDF document **) Jacob Groth
Helpful Tips:  Avoid Problems with Butterfly Livestock Purchases and Ways to Prevent Business Conflicts Linda Rogers
Rain Gardens suggestions Rick Mikula
Mini Hibernating Box Ornaments & Milkweed Pinecone Angel Holiday Project Suggestions from Rick Mikula.
A Presentation in Defense for allowing the shipment of farm-reared Monarch Butterflies for the purpose of Ceremonial Releases and Butterfly Exhibits (PDF document **) John Utterback,
Utterback Farms, Inc.
Sterilization and Disease Control (PDF document **) Nigel Venters, Glenn Baines, Melanie McCarthy and Terry Terbush

** Note on PDF documents: PDF files will open automatically in most browsers. If yours does not, you may need to download a free PDF Reader program, such as Adobe Reader or Foxit Reader.

Bonus Items

Here are some special items not covered under the Ask a Mentor program.

Nectar Additives IBBA Mailing List discussion
OE, disease & sterilization IBBA Mailing List discussion
Artificial Diets IBBA Mailing List discussion
Shipping Methods IBBA Mailing List discussion
New Farmer Help and Advice IBBA Mailing List discussion
Artificial Nectar and Fermentation IBBA Mailing List discussion
How to construct an accordian-folded mass-release box JulieWood
Monarch Tagging Events Kathleen Ziemer
The Whitefly Battle Deborah Jacobs
Hanging Cage Instructions Rich Text Format Laury Smith
Butterfly Maze (JPEG picture) Laury Smith
Overwintering Monarchs IBBA Mailing List discussion
Baits and traps for the tropics Nigel Venters and others
Growing Passion Vine IBBA Mailing List discussion
Butterfly Release Customer Instruction documents Jacob Groth and
Melanie McCarthy
How to Mount a Butterfly Link to "It's O.K. to make a Butterfly Collection" article
Aphid Discussion IBBA List discussion compiled by Amy Atwood
Propagating the Butterfly Bush
(author not known)
Raising Mourning Cloaks Nigel Venters & Melanie McCartney - discussion from the IBBA Mailing List
Link to The Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society

The quarterly scientific journal of The Lepidopterists' Society. Over 3,000 articles spanning 50+ years (but excluding the most recent 5 years) of the Journal are freely available on the JLS website.

Discussion Topics
Discussion Topics & Presentations at IBBA Conventions, Workshops and Meetings.

Presentations from the 2002 IBBA Convention
Click above for the following topics:

Hydroponics talk
Making and Using a
Butterfly Trap
The Seed Swap Table
Photographing Butterflies
Livestock Production Planner,
Projection of Pupa andDaily/Weekly
Report files

"Butterfly 101" E-mail Workshop
Click above for the following topics from the very successful 2003 workshop:

Artificial Diet for PLs
Baskets and Boxes
Bleach vs. Chlorine
Black Swallowtail
Breeder Networking
Broken Swallowtail Legs
Butterfly Photography
Butterfly Traps (full topic here)
Cage Nectaring
Container Raising
Delivery Charges
Delivery Charges (2)
Egg Inventory

Fennel and Parsley
Glassines vs. Paper
Growing Media
Kits and AD
Marketing Kits
Monarch Egg Production
NY Permits
Oe on Livestock
Oe Wash & Eggs on Leaves
Overwintering Milkweed
PLs getting stuck
Raising in Confined Areas
Raising Giant Swallowtails
Release Delay
Sales Tax
Scoping Adults
Segregating Sexes
Sexing Pupae
Shipping your Orders
Sleeving Material
State Taxes
Swallowtail Hemlock and Rue
Wedding Networking

"Butterfly Gardening 101" Online Workshop
Click above for the following discussion topics from the 2004 workshop:

Butterfly Rearing
Garden Cultivars Toxicity
and Butterflies
Host Plants
Mulch and Weed Control
Propagation, Selection, Seeds

Other possible sources of information:

IBBA Conventions & Annual Meetings

Tips & More

A potpourri of items on the "Tips & More" page

Two GREAT Websites! Link supplied by Jacob Groth
(info on sunset times & average temperatures to help plan your releases)
Nigel and Grace in the Amazon Nigel Venters
Link to ANBP  (Association of Natural Biocontrol Producers) - info about biocontrol of insects
Sexing Monarch pupae
Nigel Venters wildlife guides
An example of a decorated display cage
Melanie McCarthy
J.Howard Garrett Day at the Farm
Peggy Hatcher
EntomoTech web site link
(Butterflies of Guyana)
Butterfly House Construction
John & Mary Fields
Brighten up your display cages
tip supplied by Penny Wilson
Interesting fact about butterfly releases!
(author not known)
Giant Milkweed
photos supplied by Margarita Ashman
Humming-Bird (Common Clearwing) Hawk-Moth
(author not known)
Green Milkweed - Asclepsie viridis
Linda Rogers
Additional Crown Flower pictures
by permission Prof. Gerry Carr, U.Hawaii
Printable Labels to stick inside Release Envelopes and Boxes
(author not known)
Link to
(for entomological specimens and supplies)
Crown Flower
Pictures supplied by Julie Wood
PVC sandwich technique: more structures!
Charles & Peggy Hatcher
Warning! Be on the lookout for Butterfly Bandits!
The Butterfly Bandit
PVC Sandwich cage-building technique
Grant Hackett
Link to PAN Pesticide Database Web Site -
(info on pesticides)
A selection of interesting links
provided by Rick Mikula

Butterfly Family Tips

Tips & tricks from the (now defunct) Butterfly Family List

Raising Mourning Cloaks (From the IBBA Mailing List)
Nigel Venters & Melanie McCarthy
Building a Growing Cylinder
Linda Rogers
Portable, Inexpensive Soft-sided Cages
Jon and Cindy Timko
Off Plant Egg Laying!
Nigel Venters
Hanging Swallowtail Pupae
Nigel Venters
Fans, Air Movement, Humidity and Temperatures
(author not known)
Hydrogen Peroxide: Sterilizing Agent, Disease Suppressant & Growth Enhancer
(author not known)
Nigel & Grace Venters
Mobile hydroponic milkweed cups
(author not known)
A great galvanized folding tomato cage
Linda Rogers
How to create a "Stained Glass" butterfly
Ms. Hines’ grade 3 class, Jack Hulland School (PDF file)
Butterfly Identification Websites
Paul Chesterfield
A Design for a Butterfly Trap - Nigel Venters
Nigel Venters
Aluminium frame for butterfly cage
Edward Tsyrlin
Information Source for Butterflies in each State
Rick Mikula
A warning to anyone using a 'tick killer' on their pet

Melanie McCarthy

Hasta Gro: Make your own!!
Linda Rogers
How to easily spot a web
Carol Gonzalez
Pairing & Egg production
Nigel Venters
Spring Monarch Migration Map
Elizabeth Howard, Journey North
(Link to Journey North website)
Aphis nerii - Q&A
(authors not known)
Filters for washing Monarch eggs
Dale Belt
Information Resources for Business Owners
Melanie McCarthy
Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide
Peggy Hatcher
Growing the various Buddleia species
Nigel Venters
Shipping Monarch Pupae Melanie McCarthy

International Butterfly Breeders Association, Inc.

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