About 10 years ago, I learned about the plight of the beautiful monarch butterfly. I found out that the numbers are declining so quickly that it is soon going to be an endangered species unless something is done.
Where we were living, I was lucky to see one or two of them a year. I started planting a couple of milkweed plants in pots on my patio. It took months, but the butterflies found them, from then on it was like a runaway train. In a few days the plants had been demolished by the caterpillars, so I planted more...and more. I read everything I could about these magical creatures. I started collecting eggs and raising them until they eclosed.
I became acquainted with the pitfalls they face in all stages of development and started working to prevent them. I put up special tents and began serious efforts to raise them in the safest possible environments. My success rate increased dramatically. During my last year in that location, I released around 500 healthy monarchs.
We have since moved to an area with a much smaller population, but I wanted to do more - something I could do all year. Out of that, this presentation was born. While I only raise monarchs, much of this program applies to all butterflies.
Raising Butterflies Isn't As Hard As You Think!
Releasing your first butterfly is very rewarding!
What Are Nectar Plants?
What do butterflies eat and how can you attract them to your yard?
What Do I Feed My Caterpillars?
You can never have enough milkweed for your caterpillars.
Do You Have Monarch Eggs?
Eggs are on the underside of milkweed leaves and are about the size of a pin head.
How Many Different Stages Are There?
Learn about Monarch development.
What Can Go Wrong?
Perils and pitfalls.
What Happens Next?
Learn about the migration process.
Topics Covered In Presentation
*How to start a butterfly garden, what and where to plant.
*The perils and pitfalls faced by the butterfly and those who want to help them.
*How to locate and recognize monarch eggs.
*Development of the insect from egg to butterfly.
*What else you can do to help the butterfly population.
This program can be adapted for audiences of all ages from elementary school to adults.
Get To Know Jeanne
Jeanne Megel was born and raised in Colorado Springs, CO and has been an animal lover all her life. She holds a degree in Biology from Nebraska Wesleyan University. Her interest in animals led her to activities like scuba diving, exploring the Amazon jungle and taking a course in Shark Handling at UNEXO where she learned to hand feed sharks. She then taught a course on shark conservation to thousands of people of all ages on two continents and was given the PADI Project Award award for her efforts on behalf of these majestic and misunderstood denizens of the deep.
After moving to Florida, and becoming unable to dive, she learned of the rapidly dwindling numbers of monarch butterflies and slowly began to learn everything she could, until she was hand raising and releasing around 500 per season.
Upon relocating to Jamestown, NC, where the season is much shorter, she developed a class on monarchs to teach local groups how they could help this at risk species by raising butterflies at home.
Comments About The Class
We Have Made Them Super Happy Now, Its Your Turn!
An excellent speaker, Jeanne Megel of Jamestown gave a well-researched, engaging Power-Point program on the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly. The program was frequently enriched with her natural sense of humor. It was informative and fun, and was one of the most enlightening and memorable programs I’ve attended.
Vice Director, Disctrict 5
North Carolina Garden Club
Jeanne’s knowledge and experience raising Monarchs is extensive and so interesting and informative. As a butterfly gardening expert my awareness of the life cycle of butterflies is comprehensive, yet I learned much from her class. Her style is engaging and her materials very clearly outline each step. Don’t miss this one!
Owner, Guilford Garden Center
Butterfly Garden Curator @