Seminars and Internships

Butterfly Farm and Butterfly Breeder Seminars and Internships

Seminars are shorter than internships and cover the basic same material.  The longer a guest stays with us, the more in-depth each topic will be covered. A seminar lasts one to two days.

An intern will spend three to five full days studying with us.  After studying in the morning and part of the afternoon, we will do some of the work we studied that day, either at the farm lab or our smaller lab at the house.

Guests are encouraged to communicate freely their future plans with us.  A seminar or internship material will be the same, no matter the plans.  The focus of our discussion will depend upon whether the guest is interested in creating and running a small exhibit,  starting a butterfly farm, large butterfly gardens and tours, or any other plan.

Please contact us if you are interested in either program, butterfly farming/breeding internship or butterfly breeding seminar. Email to ask questions or schedule a seminar or internship at the farm.

Topics and activities covered in both the internship and seminar programs are:
butterfly care, egg production, larvae production, pupae pinning, eclosing methods, lepidoptera disease identification and prevention, packing and shipping, artificial diet, hand-pairing, plant propagation and production, butterfly farm layout, permit application, marketing, farmer networking, sources for supplies, and more.

With a seminar, you wash eggs once, pin a few pupae, and a few other steps of farming if time allows, including check adults for OE and look at slides with a lot or OE and a tiny bit of OE. No matter which one you take, we are determined that you’ll go home knowing that you can spot OE without problem (if you’ve not already figured it out!). We cover everything that we do in the internship week but in less depth, due to the fact that there is less time.

With a week’s internship, you do a part of everything. One afternoon we will visit the Butterfly Rainforest if the intern has an interest in visiting.  This is normally scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
Day one: A farm tour begins the internship.  After the tour, we sit to study the basic life cycle, breeding stock, hand pairing, egg production, (hands-on) disinfecting eggs, hatching eggs, tend to hatchling larvae, locating breeding stock in the wild, trichogramma wasps, preparing food for larvae, and more.  Hands-on: collecting eggs, removing eggs from leaves, disinfecting eggs, and more.
Day two: larvae, larvae anatomy, larvae molting and more,  preparing food for larvae, rearing cages/containers, feeding larvae, moving larvae, overwintering larvae, larvae parasitoids, and more.  Hands-on: feeding larvae, handling larvae, working for a short while in the lab.  We also just ahead one day for hands-on packing pupae for shipments on Tuesday instead of Wednesday simply because it is the day the farm ships to exhibits.
Day three: preparing for pupation, pre-pupae, chrysalis/pupa/cocoon, what happens during pupation, pupae anatomy, what happens in the pupa, moving pupae, pupae flaws, piggyback pupae, handling pupae, disinfecting pupae, pupae parasitoids, preparing pupae for emerging, emerging adults, and more.  Hands-on: removing pupae, handling pupae, disinfecting pupae, and more.  Visit the Butterfly Rainforest if the intern has an interest in doing so.
Day four: adult anatomy, emerging adults, handling adults, holding adults over time to prevent wing damage, diapause, feeding adults, OE, checking for OE, disease, disease prevention, lab clean-up, and more.  Hands on: checking adult breeder Monarch/Queen for OE, moving adults from emerging containers to holding containers, packing shipments, and more.
Day five:  packing and shipping, plants, plant propagation, plant pests, growing host plants, pesticides, beneficial insects, instant/artificial diet, USDA permits, release opposition, farm layout, predators, releases, release containers, your guarantee, and more.  Hands-on: draw out your lab and discuss your plans, and more.

Prices are located at the bottom of this page.

There’s so much that goes into the internship. Included in the program are tips that we learned the hard way; what we wish we had known or learned the hard way.

In past years, seminars and internships were held at the farm itself.  Due to the growth of the farm, the study portion is held at our house, next to the farm, and we will visit the farm regularly.

We will be glad to offer suggestions for a hotel or bed and breakfast nearby. During the week of your internship, we will transport you to and from the recommended bed and breakfast. You will not need a car if you fly into Gainesville or Jacksonville.

Seminar size may range from a one-person seminar to groups of forty seminar attendees.

You are welcome to bring your camera to take photos as you visit and/or work at the butterfly farm.

Photos: disinfecting eggs, feeding larvae, feeding Painted Lady larvae, propagating plants, attaching pupae, packing adults for shipment, and checking Monarch butterflies for OE.

Butterfly Farm Seminar Prices:
$500 for a one day seminar.
$800 for a two day seminar.

Butterfly Breeding Intern Prices:
Internship programs may be scheduled for three to five day internship length.
Three day internship: $1,000
Four day internship: $1,250
Full five day internship: $1,350

Lunch is included with one-day seminars.  Spouses attend without paying a fee but must pay for any meals we eat away from the farm.   Meals from breakfast Monday morning through supper Friday evening are covered for guests staying two or more days.

Husband and wife teams: price is same as for one intern EXCEPT that the spouse is responsible for his/her own cost of meals (when eating out only) and for the second entry into the Butterfly Rainforest in Gainesville.

If more than one intern shares a full week, each intern will receive a discount on the price.

Transportation to and from Gainesville or Jacksonville airport is free for five day internships ONLY. For other interns who wish pickup and return to the airport, we add an additional $50. Please contact us for more information about airport pickup and return.

We will contact each intern a few weeks before their visits to discuss food needs/wishes, allergies, and more.  We accommodate food preferences: vegan, vegetarian, etc.

One dog and two cats are in and out of the house through the end of 2018.  As much as we would like to, if someone has an allergy to dogs and cats, we cannot make changes to accommodate them.  In 2019, animals will not be in the house.