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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Penfield IL USA
    Posts
    38

    Default Where are the butterflies?

    We planted 12 acres in CRP borderstrips 3 years ago. 5 of the acres had the pollinator blend enhancement added to the native grasses and forbs. The last 2 years I have seen a huge jump in some pollinator populations ie butterflies, bumblebees, other bees (that I am learning about). Some of the planting my honeybees also love. This year the butterflies almost seem absent! I spoke with another fellow who has an acre of restored prairie who is saying the same thing. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    288

    Default Re: Where are the butterflies?

    My wife and I notice the same thing. Specifically looking for Monarchs, we have plenty of milkweed, but no Monarch butterflies.
    Wish I could offer an explanation, but I have none. It's as if the numbers of all butterflies is down significantly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Chatham County, NC, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Where are the butterflies?

    They must've moved south. There's tons around these parts!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bell County, KY, USA
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: Where are the butterflies?

    Plenty around here.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Springfield, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Where are the butterflies?

    I just started seeing the yellow swallowtails last week, and they are all over the coneflower. I have not seen a monarch or viceroy for a few years. Painted ladies seem to be in short supply.
    Pete. New 2013, 7 hives, zone 6a
    To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    steeds, north carolina, USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Where are the butterflies?

    This has been a fantastic year for butterflies here. We have hundreds of eastern tiger swallowtails, lots of black swallowtails, buckeyes, pearl crescents, american ladies, silver spotted skippers,sleepy oranges, cloudless sulphurs, carolina satyrs, the monarchs have arrived and are laying eggs on my milkweeds. My gardens are filled with butterflies.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Penfield IL USA
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Where are the butterflies?

    Quote Originally Posted by Waggle View Post
    This has been a fantastic year for butterflies here. We have hundreds of eastern tiger swallowtails, lots of black swallowtails, buckeyes, pearl crescents, american ladies, silver spotted skippers,sleepy oranges, cloudless sulphurs, carolina satyrs, the monarchs have arrived and are laying eggs on my milkweeds. My gardens are filled with butterflies.
    Wow! I have been out looking for three days. We have milkweeds, coneflowers, butterfly weed and are seeing nothing. Maybe we oughta move to the Carolinas...on the other hand, I hate to run away from a problem.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,550

    Default Re: Where are the butterflies?

    I think most of them are in my car grill!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default Re: Where are the butterflies?

    What I've heard/read is that it is because of the combination of drought in 2012, and the late spring/wet weather this year in some parts of the country. People are noticing this in other Midwest states. Michigan: > http://www.freep.com/article/2013070...arch-gardening > Minn. > http://www.startribune.com/local/215176011.html >> In Britain/Europe in 2012, record wet weather may have caused lack of butterflies. David Attenborough: > http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...-36-years.html ----There are some Milkweed out by my colonies and have seen Monarch larvae most years; but none this year so far.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Penfield IL USA
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Where are the butterflies?

    In a conversation yesterday, one authority told me that she thought last years late freeze and drought really messed up the butterfly (mostly monarch) life cycle-froze the late pupating larvae which were ahead of schedule due to the spring that began in March. She also said that monarchs are just now migrating into central Illinois, and that she saw milkweed reblooming.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sacramento, Calif. USA
    Posts
    272

    Default Re: Where are the butterflies?

    A non-political, non-alarmist, non-grant money seeking butterfly expert in Iowa had this to offer about the Corn Belt butterfly situation this year:

    Thomas Jantscher <tjantscher@GMAIL.COM>
    Subject: [IOWA-INSECTS] Saturday Butterflies
    Date: August 11, 2013 9:05:09 AM PDT

    Hi, I was able to get out surveying butterflies Saturday at Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center near Cedar Rapids in east-central Iowa. The weather was very pleasant and it was a great day for a nature hike. In 1 hour 35 minutes I saw just over one hundred butterflies, including a pleasing 5 or 6 Monarchs. Here is the full list:

    - Giant Swallowtail (1)
    - American Painted Lady (1)
    - Black Swallowtail (7)
    - Cabbage White (6)
    - Clouded Sulphur (4)
    - Eastern Tailed-Blue (33)
    - Great Spangled Fritillary (12)
    - Common Buckeye (6)
    - Monarch (5)
    - Tawny-edged Skipper (1)
    - Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (1)
    - Orange Sulphur (10)
    - Little Yellow (3)
    - Gray Hairstreak (1)
    - Pearl Crescent (6)
    - Viceroy (3)
    - Least Skipper (3)
    - Peck's Skipper (1)

    I get the impression butterfly numbers are picking up very well now this year, and late August/September usually has the highest butterfly numbers, so I encourage you to get out and see some.

    Tom Jantscher
    Cedar Rapids, IA

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cumberland Va.
    Posts
    1,267

    Default Re: Where are the butterflies?

    wish I could help you but maybe it will make you feel a little better to know that the butterfly population is as strong as I can remember in my 45 years in central Virginia. They are everywhere, dozens on a single milkweed bloom, my buckwheat field is littered with them. Keep your head up, they aint gone nowhere, conditions dictate numbers. G

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Penfield IL USA
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Where are the butterflies?

    I am now seeing a few, still very few. And I am hearing that a few farmers are having their soybeans sprayed for aphids now. Wish it would rain and wish I would stop hearing airplanes...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Long Valley NJ
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Where are the butterflies?

    not familiar with any particular species, but I cannot recall a year where I have seen them in such abundance as this summer

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Where are the butterflies?

    Up here in Edmonton Alberta. No Monarch butterfly's. I mentioned this to my wife. She agreed , she has not seen any butterfly's. Bee s survived the winter. Caught a swarm last august, started feeding them immediately. They survived the long winter (28 weeks snow on the ground). Started feeding in April. Requeened, x2. Then split in June 21. Now have 6 hives from one Swarm. Probably go to 2 queen system next year.
    However I am quite concerned about the Butterfly situation.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    288

    Default Re: Where are the butterflies?

    Good to hear the butterflies are in abundance in other areas. One month since my last post on this thread, and I've seen one Monarch (that was in Missouri). My wife has seen none.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    steeds, north carolina, USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Where are the butterflies?

    This has been the best year ever for butterflies here. There are lots of monarchs and more swallowtails (yellow tiger, black, spicebush) than I have ever seen in my life, there are hundreds on my butterfly bushes and zinnias. I hope they pick up for those with so few.

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