Sustained forests; sustained profits

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The Butterfly Band

An insect-based "company" may be established. The unit of Lasting Forests seeks to maximize profits from insect-related activity, primarily that which is related to moths and butterflies. Expressing interest in biodiversity, a national and international concern, the Band seeks to learn of the ecology of the insects of the area. It gives greatest attention to the more conspicuous and attractive butterflies but works with the entire realm of entomology...from pests to production of commodities and crafts. It also includes honey production. Other activities include cooperative honey buying/marketing, bee and butterfly "clubs", pollination service, insect damage appraisals, newsletters, sale of supplies, computer software and education, and photography.

See the Virtual Insectary for ideas.

One emphasis is increased production of crops (not just reduced losses) due to managed insect populations.

Hives are set up in approved areas near secure sites. Small areas are planted to produce specifically designed (computer aided) supplies. A co-op of local producers is developed. Supplies of quality honey are processed in various styles, color, taste, and quality to maximize profit.

The Forests are hit by various insects and developing appropriate damage management strategies is needed. These must be integrated with other objectives of the area.

A collection is maintained with the Lab, later considered for museum-like displays.

Insects are a primary food of fish, birds and mammals. This enterprise is a "service group" in the same sense that the rangeland component of the Rangeland and Pasture Group works to provide plant forage for livestock and wildlife. Managing insect biomass is a new function in the wildland. Including the invertebrate fauna in "biodiversity" is a massive problem that few in the general public or legislatures have contemplated.

This enterprise seeks to develop a comprehensive bee- and insect- related system distributed throughout the region. It promotes interest in bees, secures a toxicant-free environment for bees, sells equipment for honey production, sells honey and wax, rents pollinators in season, and supplies products for venom therapy research.

Related work with bees are enterprise actions such as:

In addition to bees, the enterprise collects and preserves insects for educational purposes, assists in maintaining the Virginia Tech insect collection, provides identification service for pest control operators and interested people.

It conducts insect surveys (and contract agricultural insect surveys for state and federal agencies) for property owners interested in comprehensive biodiversity surveys. It engages in insect-community relations research, particularly in forest areas. It is uniquely qualified to engage in baseline wilderness surveys.

It seeks contracts for threatened or endangered species recovery projects. It publishes Bug Notes a newsletter for everyone interested in any and all of the above topics and Hex Notes for those having bee interests [An organization for people interested in butterflies (and other insects) and butterfly gardens will be studied.]

Freelance writing and photography is encouraged for alternative funding and name recognition.

Bee costumes for youth and others are made in Outfits. "Bee parties" for small children (full range of games, food, costumes, and decorations are supplied - a party package).

Customers:

Work will be done by willing cooperators (after instructions and equipment supplies) in households throughout the region.

Pest control operators (Dodson, Orkin, etc.) are likely to be (irregular) customers for identification and other services.

Consulting is freely provided to the Pest Force promoting a version of integrated pest management. "Bug Notes" is sold to cooperators, pest control operators, Nature Folks, and farmers. It advertises the Lasting Forests services.

It uses the butterfly identification web site.

Bee costumes are sold of parties, Halloween, parades, etc. They are sold with the party materials for children age 4-7 in units of 5. A party consultant will be available.

Estimated development cost....$45,000

Estimated profits (5th year).....60,000

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See Michigan Butterflies and Skippers: a field guide and reference by Mogens C. Nielsen published in 1999 by MSU Extension, Michigan State University. This book is 237 pages long and has excellent photos and descriptions of the species found in Michigan. Although the range maps are specific to Michigan, this could be a useful reference for other upper midwest/eastern states.

Also see The Butterflies of North America by James A. Scot (Stanford University Press?) by far the best butterfly reference. Although it is not small enough to be a field book, it is ideal for collecting or other situations where the insect can be seen up close.

The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center has a web site with an online field guide to butterflies, moths, and several other species groups, complete with descriptions, color photos, etc. You can select by region, state, even county, for a complete list with descriptions.

See the world data base on ants.

See Moths of North America

See also a source for insects.

See the American Museum of Natural History butterfly garden and related sources.


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This Web site is maintained by R. H. Giles, Jr.
Last revision January 17, 2000.