Butterfly Release Course part 3

Butterfly Release Course – Funerals – Part Three

Butterfly Release Course – Funerals – Part Three

How can I decorate with butterflies?butterfly-bouquetA screen display is ideal for butterflies.  Add cut flowers, silk flowers, a fruit basket, or ribbons for butterflies to sit on in the display.  Butterflies need moisture in the air to survive.  Air conditioning and heating will dry out the air.  Be sure to add water to the display, from a living plant to spritzing them with water.  Butterflies will nectar on Gatorade, sugar water, or fruit.  If you are keeping your butterflies in a display for several hours, adding one or more of these items will help keep your butterflies healthy.On the day of the release, the butterflies will be fine in the box in which they were shipped.

If you are going to hold an individual release, keep the butterflies cool until an hour or so before the event.  (You will need to take into consideration the outside temperature and how fast they will warm up in those temps.)  Keep in mind that you will want them to warm up, ideally, to about 70 degrees.  It is always advisable to designate a responsible person, who does not already have a job to do on the day of the event, to be in charge of butterfly care and handling.  Sometimes, a “butterfly attendant” is designated for this purpose.  The attendant can distribute the envelopes to the chosen “releasers.”  At the designated time, the envelopes are opened and the butterflies fly out.  They don’t need to be thrown; they will fly when they are ready.  The guests can admire them and enjoy them as long as they can this way.organzamassreleasecubeIf you are holding a mass release, you will need to transfer the butterflies into the release container prior to your event while they are still cool.  Transfer your butterflies in a cool dark room.  A bright window to the side will attract any butterflies that escape while you are transferring them.  If any do escape, simply pick them up and return them to the box!  Just open the lid of your mass release box slightly and slip your butterflies into the box. If your release box is made in such a fashion that you can cut a hole in the bottom of the container, 1/3 to 1/2 inch wide and 2 inches long, this opening will make it easy to slip butterflies into the box without opening and closing the lid.  After you have transferred your butterflies, place a slip of paper over the opening and hold it in place with a piece of clear tape if you wish.  In most instances, the hole will not be noticed and does not need to be covered.The video below demonstrates how to slip butterflies gently from their arrival envelopes into your mass release container.

If you will be using a container that is not transparent (the sunlight would not show through) then just transfer them into it about an hour or so before the release.  Be sure to keep the box in a shady, undisturbed area.  Do not place it in direct sunlight, or they will overheat.  You can also place a dark cloth over the container to keep the butterflies inactive, especially if you have a transparent box.  Do not disturb the box until the time for the release.  The release container should not be moved often.  If you have a release box that has an open weave, you will want to mist the butterflies at least twice an hour to keep them from dehydrating.  Flowers can be placed in a see-through container at the bottom, as long as they have not been sprayed with insecticides.  Watermelon slices can also be hidden in the flowers and this will give the butterflies something to nectar on while confined.Your imagination is your limit.  Generally, for a funeral, the close immediate family will release the butterflies.  For memorials that are to be held outside, the butterflies can be released before the service.  The service takes place while the butterflies are flying around.  To achieve this, a good number of nectar plants are recommended for placement in the area to encourage the butterflies to stay around.

One service had a large net to contain the butterflies and they were all released at once at the end of the service.  There is no given moment to release the butterflies for a funeral or memorial.  Some even incorporate the release into their message.Butterflies aren’t JUST for Funerals!
Butterflies can be released at any event!  Birthday parties, grand openings, bar and bat mitzvahs, a baby’s birth, weddings, graduations, anniversaries are all good times for butterfly releases.  Butterflies bring magic and excitement to every special event!


Butterflies are Nature’s Gift to the Environment

MonarchButterflies are important pollinatorsMonarchButterflies are part of the food chainMonarchBy releasing butterflies, one is helping to repopulate the species without polluting, harming or defacing natureMonarchButterflies are uplifting and aesthetically pleasingMonarchReleasing butterflies is an ecologically sound way to celebrate any occasion


Butterfly Myths & Truths

Myth – Most of the butterflies will arrive dead or not make it to the releaseTruth – Only a few butterflies may not make it, but most do just fine.Myth – You can color coordinate the butterflies to colors chosen for the eventTruth – Butterflies only come in a few different colors.  There are no white butterflies that can be shipped across state lines.  The colors available range between black, browns, oranges and yellow mixes.Myth – Only half the butterflies will survive up to the time of the releaseTruth – Your butterflies are handled and packed in such a way to protect them and to make sure that they will survive the journey.  Extra butterflies are usually included just in case a few do not survive.Myth – They will not fly and people will step on themTruth – Talk to your butterfly farmer.  If the release is done properly, you will have a lovely release experience.Myth – Butterfly releases are cruel to the butterflyTruth – The butterflies are raised and handled with the best of care.  They are only sent to environments where they occur naturally.  After a release, they will live the rest of their natural lives in the wild.Myth – The butterflies will get confused when releasedTruth – Studies have been done to show that there are no ill effects to butterflies shipped across states.  Monarch Watch does a tagging program nationwide and has found commercially-raised butterflies that have successfully migrated to the overwintering sites in Central Mexico. Myth – The butterflies will have nothing to eat and will dieTruth – Speak to your butterfly farmer about the proper times to release butterflies.  If they are released in the warmer months, they will have plenty of nectar flowers, wild and cultivated, for them to survive.  You do not want to release them in the winter; use common sense!