Monarch Butterfly Experience
The monarch butterfly, also known as the king of butterflies, plays an important role in agriculture by assisting with the pollination of flowering crops and contributing to biodiversity. As the monarch butterfly population continues to fluctuate worldwide, Bayer Hawaii has made a commitment to help restore pollinator habitats across its farms on Oahu, Maui and Molokai, and continue to support monarch butterfly conservation efforts through education.
To generate awareness, Bayer recently formed a partnership with Sharing the Butterfly Experience, the only Hawaii member of the International Butterfly Breeders Association.
The monarch butterfly kit is assembled by the Sharing the Butterfly Experience team, and includes everything a budding butterfly farmer could need, including a live caterpillar, a 24 inch by 12 inch tent to protect the caterpillar from predators, a crown flower plant, and instructions on how to raise monarch butterflies.
Bayer Hawaii will also give away a few monarch butterfly kits to Hawaii residents by random drawing during National Pollinator Week.
“As a sustainable agricultural company, it’s important that we educate the next generation about pollinators like the monarch butterfly and their contribution to the health of our planet,” said Krishna Bayyareddy, entomology production lead at Bayer Hawaii. “The monarch caterpillar’s food source is milkweed, and the crown flower plant is the most popular kind of milkweed in Hawaii. We hope to encourage others to share in the task of planting crown flower to help restore the butterfly habitat.”
Krishna Bayyareddy talking butterflies on Hawaii News Sunrise
Monarch butterflies undergo a life cycle of four stages. A monarch caterpillar hatches from a tiny egg laid by a female butterfly, then goes through five moltings while feeding on crown flower. From there, it will turn into chrysalis or pupa, and then finally emerge as a fully developed butterfly. This process from egg to adult butterfly takes up to 24 days.
Bayer Hawaii has implemented a program to restore pollinator habitats across its farms, by planting crown flower, in an effort to increase the butterfly’s milkweed habitat and protect biodiversity. Crown flower, known in Hawaii as pua kalaunu, belongs to the milkweed family and is said to be the favorite flower of Queen Liliuokalani who often wore it as a lei. Today, more than 400 crown flower plants can found thriving at Bayer Hawaii farms.