Butterfly Breeders.

Terry Fluke fluke at ptd.net
Wed Sep 22 20:27:46 EDT 1999

I know as I'm writing this I am going to be picked on, but I think I need
to be fair to myself and my fellow butterfly breeders.
I must admit I have only been raising butterflies for 2 years, so I'm sure
I don't have as much knowledge as most of you reading this.  But somewhere
along the line, some one has determined that breeders are the bad guys. 
Wouldn't it be better for all concerned to try to work together.
This is my personal view point on butterfly breeders:
1 - The butterfly comes first.  We have applied for our USDA permits,
followed NY and other states agencies who don't want releases in their
states.  Releases could easily be done, but because we are ethical, we turn
down those orders.
2 - We are more concerned with the spread of diseases that Mother nature. 
If we didn't keep a close eye on our stock for the different type of
diseases that would harm the butterflies, then eventually we wouldn't have
any stock let to fill orders with.  We all have come to rely on our
microscopes to check for diseases.  Mother nature doesn't do that.
3 - Collecting wild stock.  This is ridiculous.  Why introduce wild stock
into my clean stock.  That is just asking for trouble I don't need, or have
the time to deal with, and yes the possible loss of income.
4 - Educating the public.  In the 2 years I have been raising butterflies I
have done more to educate the public ( not the entomologists or professors)
 but the real people of the communities.  The school children, senior
citizens, day care centers, church group.  The ones out there who actually
get out in their yards and are the ones who could possible harm the
butterflies with their spraying, or just by stepping on a caterpillar
because they didn't know what kind it is, so it must be bad.  I have given
approx 40 - 50 of these programs in PA.  I enjoy them as much as my
audience does.  Am I a bad person because I charge a small fee to do this?
5 - Discussion groups.  MANY of us belong to a discussion group where we
talk out rearing butterflies, the safe, ethical, and disease free way.  We
talk about the best way to ship the butterflies, best packaging methods
ect.  Everything puts the Butterfly's welfare first!

I could go on, but just to let you know we are not in it JUST FOR THE BUCK,
I have organized a "get together" in PA for November 6 1999.  This
originally started out as just a few of us breeders in eastern Pa getting
together to discuss our businesses,  The do's and don'ts of raising healthy
I posted this "get together"on our discussion group and said if anyone else
from PA wanted you join us(or anyone else) just to let me know.
Well the response was over whelming.  I now have 40+ breeders coming to
discuss, what else, the best, ethical, responsible way to raise
butterflies.  Only about 10 out of the group are from PA, the rest are from
All over the U.S. , Canada, and UK.  If we didn't care, why would we
We are not people out there making as much money off of butterflies as we
can, and then moving on to something else.
We are just like you!  Looking out for the butterflies.  In the process we
may be making an income, but then again, so are some of you.
Like I said in the beginning, There are those out there who aren't going to
like this.  But I think it is time to take a step back, and call a truce

Mrs. Terry Fluke
Butterfly breeder, educator, and proud of it!

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