BlueSkyBee

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Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 95 total)
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  • in reply to: The Journey project – I would love to see this! #34700

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    Yes, it does sound amazing.

    in reply to: When to prune swan plant? #34539

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    This is regarding ‘taking the seeds off the whispy part’

    I get the seeds with the fluff, pop them in a tupperware container with a couple of small coins, and shake it around. Eventually you will be left with a ball of fluff which has separated from the seeds.

    in reply to: Cats making Js on ground – help please! #34496

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    It sounds as though you may have a build up of bacterial spores, perhaps Oe in your terrarium, if it were me, I’d clear everything out, wash it thoroughly and wipe it down with a weak bleach solution to try to combat it.

    A cat oozing goo  really isn’t going to make it, and for the health of the rest of your cats/chrysalises I think it is advisable to euthanase in the freezer any that are ‘not right’ in the interests of helping stop the spread of the disease.

    My personal idea is to only breed healthy cats/butterflies, any that need too much  human intervention are probably diseased and won’t make it anyway, or will simply spread disease if they do.

    I think at the tail end of the season like this, there are going to be more failures, as conditions are not ideal, and getting less so as the weather cools down, and day length decreases.

    I also remember reading about research they did in the US, where they tested cats for Oe right through the season, and consistently they found that as the season progressed, more and more Oe was present.

    All the best, I hope you get on top of it, but do remember, it is part of the natural process.

    in reply to: overwintering cluster in Masterton #34467

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    Lovely!!

    in reply to: Monarchs in Parua Bay Whangarei #34442

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    Has anyone seen a repeat of this? I’d  love to find a local overwintering site and go have a look…

    in reply to: Butterfly season not yet finished #34411

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    All the Monarchs disappeared from here as soon as my milkweed was eaten off, now the plants have grown back quite well, and I have been 1/2 expecting to see the odd Monarch, but no, nothing… I’m starting to plant out my seedlings now, and hope to have a nice big area ready come springtime.

    My mum in Kerikeri has had Monarchs laying up until quite recently.

    in reply to: Butterfly season not yet finished #34412

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    All the Monarchs disappeared from here as soon as my milkweed was eaten off, now the plants have grown back quite well, and I have been 1/2 expecting to see the odd Monarch, but no, nothing… I’m starting to plant out my seedlings now, and hope to have a nice big area ready come springtime.

    My mum in Kerikeri has had Monarchs laying up until quite recently.

    in reply to: Monarch Migration, Mexico #34391

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    My son has a” little einsteins” video that is all about Monarchs, and shows the migration to Mexico. 🙂


    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    Um no scanner, I can cut  out the page  and send it to you fastpost! lol 🙂

    in reply to: yellow and red admirals #34329

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    Anna thankyou! I’ll be emailing you… 🙂


    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    Excellent point Norm, probably the best outcome is re-homing if possible… Wish they were near me!!

    in reply to: yellow and red admirals #34310

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    Pawhaoa, glad to hear you are seeing Admirals! Where did you manage to get hold of nettle from, I’d love to plant some here, but as yet have not been able to  source  any plants.

    in reply to: Later in season = smaller chrysalises? #34289

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    Yes, I think they will hatch to be fine, I’m just a bit annoyed, as I still have tags, and wanted nice  big butterflies to tag, but small and resilient it will have to be I think…

    I have them all inside on a plant in a cat castle Jacqui, so other than the day length, I don’t think the weather is really having much effect on them, and it’s been so warm as well!!

    in reply to: Monarch Cam #34266

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    What a neat idea 🙂 Times like this I wish I had decent fast internet…

    in reply to: Website opinion please #34248

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    I definitely prefer black myself.

    in reply to: A to Z of Raising Monarch Caterpillars #34235

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    My thoughts, please expand etc…

    A – Aphids

    C – Cleanliness in Cat Castles/Rearing Containers… notes on avoiding overcrowding etc, removing frass.

    D – Disinfectant. Use if Oe a problem, use diluted bleach to wash down equipment, or soak leaves if necessary

    H – Host plants. Try to have well grown extras available in areas inaccessible to Monarch Butterflies to avert any famine when the cats strip  the plants they are on

    I -Insecticide – Avoid the use of it anywhere near your cats, as they are very sensitive critters, and if poisoned by it, can start to ooze green goo, and die. Be especially careful using it indoors if you are raising cats inside, as use at one end of the house can sometimes still affect your cats at the other end of the house.

    J – The shape of a caterpillar as they begin the process to pupation, it is quite important  not    to disturb or touch them at this stage.

    P – Predators – Including Wasps, Praying Mantis, Hedgehogs (chrysalis eaters) Controlling known wasp nests can help, as will netting on plants, killing or removing Mantis, and keeping chrysalises out of reach of Hedgehogs, you can put chralises up high, or take them inside for pupation.

    V – Ventilation, very important if cats are being raised indoors, helps to decrease  incidence  of fungal and bacterial infections.

    Z – Zinnias and other nectar plants which will feed visiting Monarchs while they mate, lay eggs, and provide the first food for reared  Butterflies, and also encourage overwintering in your area if nectar sources are plentiful.

    in reply to: Swamp milkweed seed. Asclepias incarnata (pink flowered) #34233

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    Thankyou! I’ll check those out.

    in reply to: Swamp milkweed seed. Asclepias incarnata (pink flowered) #34221

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    Milkweed, I’ll be sending you an envelope on Wednesday, would love some Liatris of both colours if possible, as well as the others I emailed you about 🙂

    Also, I was reading an old post of yours about the different milkweeds you have grown over the years, an impressive list! Where do you source all the seed for the unusual varieties from?

    in reply to: Bringing chrysalis indoors??? #34185

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    I read somewhere that if your chrysalis is not near a plant, it will not be getting  the humidity it will usually get, so spraying the chrysalises every now and then with water can stop them dehydrating.

    I do actually prefer to have them hanging, I have tried the method of having them lying in a container with mesh (I used a chux cloth) and while many were fine, I did find a few of them failed to exit the chrysalis properly, as instead of it being fixed so they could pull out of it easily, it was dragged behind them, and was tangled up around the abdomen somewhat, and was quite difficult to release. The butterflies were otherwise quite fine.

    in reply to: 5th instars … very dark colour – black and velvety! #33792

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    I’ve had some of these too, I just put it down to natural variation, I was interested to see if the hatched butterflies were different in any way, but lost track of the chrysalises in the end.

    in reply to: Aphids #33737

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    I generally just use my fingers to squish all the aphids if there are cats on the plants, it’s a lot easier to do if you have caught the infestation early though. I use soapy water also, if it is bad, but I”m actually not sure if it affects the cats adversely, so only use when there are no cats present.

    in reply to: How about adding locations to forum- users names? #33549

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    Yes locations are great to have.

    in reply to: Stratification #33520

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    A fair  bit of interesting info on the plant.

    http://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_assy.pdf

    in reply to: Stratification #33519

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    That variety doesn’t appear to need stratification, did it specifically say it needed it on the seed packet? If you want to cover all your bases, you could pop it in the fridge for a couple of weeks prior to planting, or even stratify 1/2 and simply plant 1/2 and see if there is any significant difference in germination rates.

    in reply to: Monarch caterpillars eating into seed pods #33496

    BlueSkyBee
    Participant

    Yes, my cats decided my seed pods on my tropical milkweed were quite tasty, luckily they didn’t eat the whole thing, and I managed to get seed from it. They just seem to do it sometimes.

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 95 total)