The Butterfly Boutique  

Workshop Testimonials & Comments

(Papers from our past workshops are available for purchase from the Butterfly Boutique Store.)

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From: Anders Eliasson
Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2014
To: Linda Rogers
2014 Butterfly Raising Workshops!

Hi Linda!

Well, you know I'm only a simple hobbyist breeder that have a remote dream of maybe expanding this to a small business, or at least be a self financing hobby, once I get some more time.

Nigel put me on the track some years ago with P Machaon. A Swedish lovely spieces, almost tropical looking, that I had wanted to breed for a long time. (When I was a kid I killed them (awful me)) Nigel also helped me on track on breeding a rare spieces for conservation purposes which has been partly successful. From there I improved step by step. The wwbbf membership and especially the work shops have helped me to develop my skills much quicker and I have slowly started to try more and more spieces and espacially swallowtails. I'm sure, if you do breeding more as profession, the work shops are even more beneficial.

Being in wwbbf and attending the work shops also give access to a fantastic community of people sharing the same passion and as a bonus you also get access to new equipment, seeds etc.

Also Nigel's sheer passion in teaching others and the way he makes his articles so living are inspiring you to develop yourself.

Hopefully some good input to you.

Best regards

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To whom it may concern:
January 23, 2014

The Butterfly Conservatory is a Nature Regeneration Project dedicated to the preservation, and study of the rainforest; with focus on butterflies and other tropical rainforest species in the Arenal region of Costa Rica.  Our gardens contain the largest exhibition of butterflies in Costa Rica, and the project is a learning center for understanding the butterfly life-cycle and incredible metamorphosis experience.

Since we raise all of our own butterflies for our four exhibition atriums, it behooved me to take several of the courses that Nigel Venters of the Butterfly Boutique offers.  These courses have been extremely informative and beneficial toward improving our standard operating procedures for running our exhibition as well as caring for our butterflies.  Thanks to the many things we’ve learned in that process we now exhibit more species, and are achieving longer life spans from our butterflies than in previous years.

I highly recommend that anyone involved with butterfly production and exhibition explore the many courses offered by the Butterfly Boutique to discover new ways to improve their current operation.

Glenn Baines
Owner & Executive Director
Butterfly Conservatory
El Castillo-Arenal
Costa Rica

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Professional Butterfly Farming

Part I - March 2013; Part II - July 2013

Adam Cotton

2012 President of the Lepidopterists Society

"Fantastic and extremely educational, an imperative for any butterfly breeder".

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Val Ware

Dear Nigel et al, 

Thank-you for your knowledge, time and assistance throughout part one.

Cannot imagine as yet part two.  I have learned a great deal in the last part.  

There are so many variables to the life of the many types. I have to continually refer back to various  Sections of part one as my ah-ha grasp of the knowledge takes me time.  

Thanks and looking forward to your next "book". ; )

Val Ware

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Kathleen Ziemer
ButterfliZ of Iowa

(Posted to WWBBF and IBBA Mailing List)
Subject: Workshop Part II

With great pleasure I would encourage each of you to give this workshop serious consideration.  I have known Nigel and Linda for many, many, MANY years and I can tell you it will be well worth your time and expense.

While I am not breeding as much as I used to, I know the monarch raising program Nigel endorses works and produces big, beautiful monarchs with no disease or melt-down.

I also happen to know the part about presentations and exhibits is great stuff.  Because I wrote some of it!!!

Please, if you are a breeder now or what to become one - this workshop to the way to go.

Kathleen Ziemer
ButterfliZ of Iowa
"Let Your Fantasy Take Flight . . ."

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Jon Owens

I would just like to thank you for all the help that your provide to me (and others) on raising butterflies. The amount of expertise and time that you put into providing detailed advice is extraordinary!

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Jacqui Knight
13 November 2013
Subject: Re: Professional Butterfly Farming Workshop

I would like to join with others in thanking you so much for all of the information that you have provided throughout the course, Nigel, and Linda and Paul in your support roles.

It is fantastic having access to this information. I wish I had more time to fully participate - and also access to more of the species discussed! I am sure that other participants in this course have also benefited greatly.

Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge so generously.

We are now well into spring in New Zealand but the butterflies here  have got off to a slow start. There are lots of Monarch larvae and pupae in my garden (when I was home last weekend) and I can't wait to get home again tomorrow to see what has developed over the past five days. (My paid job has taken me to Napier, Hawkes Bay, six hours drive away for the past three weeks.)

One other project that I've been working at home on at weekends is attached. I hope that it will inspire many would-be gardeners to see the fascinating opportunities available to them by planting lots of nectar flowers. Wildflower seeds have been sown in between the rows of colourful annuals.

Once again, Nigel, Linda and Paul, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. This course has been hugely beneficial.


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Let's Raise Swallowtails!

May 21-25, 2012. ~ Part II : July 9-13, 2012.

From Adam Cotton, 2012 Vice President of the Lepidopterists' Society:

"Nigel's papers are a great read and very informative, even to me. I have already learned a lot, especially with regard to alternative methods to those I use here, and also it is great to see the simple everyday stuff explained for those who don't have the experience or knowledge." ~Adam.

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"We have tried before without much success to breed swallowtails! Yesterday was an exciting day. You (and your teachers) thru the swallowtail course, have successfully taught my husband and I to get the anise Swallowtail to lay eggs. Thank you! I believe we passed another milestone!"
Theresa Chesmore ~

I just read Part I Paper I of your Let's Raise Swallowtails course. I think it is great! I look forward to reading more. I would recommend anyone sign up! Thx, Todd.
Todd Stout ~ Raising Butterflies, LLC ~

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Maximum Monarchs & More!

June 6-10, 2011

Day 6  (Extra Bonus Day!) Egg Washing Techniques & Other Topics

From Cornelius du Plessis, NY, USA

Hi Nigel,

We have had 90 F temperatures on and off the last couple weeks here in NY, normally would start running into problems,but this year farming max monarch/hydroponic system and following your SOP still harvesting batches of healthy disease free monarch pupa as can be-seen in this pop up ,making farming butterflies fun.thanks again!!

July 2012

Cornelius Du Plessis with pop-up cage
Cornelius Du Plessis with pop-up cage containing
pupae raised using the Maximum Monarchs method!

(see also Cornelius' earlier comment here.)

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From Kay in Perth, Australia

Nigel, Linda and crew.

Thank you for all the work you have put into this work shop.

It has been wonderful learning experience and I have already put some of the information into action.

Kaye Higgins, Butterfly Dreams
Butterfly Dreams
12 Cobden Street
Bayswater 6053
Perth Western Australia

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From Manel in Barcelona, Spain

Hi Nigel and all,

I have to say thank you so much for such a fantastic seminar. I have now the first results in my experience with the new method, and I have to say that are completely positives.

I took advantage some weeks before, and I planted the milkweeds. I tried with 100-120 caterpillars 3 weeks before, and now the first monarch caterpillars are pupae in the top of the cage as you said, and I didn't see a dead one, so when all finish in pupae, I will confirm if finally I got a 100% of success.

It has been fantastic because I feel that with the necessary food plant and the few dedication I spent, I could be raising large quantities that with traditional methods I can't imagine to raise for myself. Of course, I will use the method with other food plants and species.

Thanks Nigel, Linda and Paul for an amazing seminar. I can say that the $50 are the best investment for my business that I have done!

Waiting for the next seminar,

Manel Moreno.

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From John Wilchynski, Florida


Thanks for this great course. It has been such a pleasure to read all this great information after a hard days works. Please put my name and email on the World Wide Butterfly group list.

Thank You

John Wilchynski.

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From Richard Charlwood, Australia

Thanks so much Nigel, Linda and Paul for all your time, effort and great advice!

Thanks to everyone for sharing so much.

I've learnt heaps and realise that getting to know these wonderful creatures is a lifelong journey.

Sincerely, Richard.

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From Jacqui Knight, New Zealand

Thank you so much Nigel, Linda and Paul - it's been most rewarding.

I very much appreciate all the effort you've put in to this - I've so enjoyed it. I have printed out all the papers and hope to review the information often as I search for answers to make my/our efforts more simple, structured, successful and sustainable.

Thank you again.


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From Bill Robinson, South Carolina

Linda, Nigel and Paul thank you so much for your effort; the course has been very educational.

Bill Robinson

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From Barbara Dorf, Texas

Thank you so much for all of your help & all of the wonderfully valuable information.


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From David Foster, Kansas


I have your books and cd and was impressed with your experience and knowledge. With this course you have outdone yourself. The depth of your expertise is impressive, but to me the most impressive part is your willingness to share with everyone else.

We are making many changes here are somewhat in a start up mode at this point. I don't have any questions at the moment for you, but I am sure I will in the future and I hope you are as willing to share your knowledge then.

Thanks again to you, Linda, Paul and everyone who has asked questions and offered their knowledge. As a current board member of IBBA it is good to see the interest and cooperation among the

"butterfly community".


David Foster

Schoolhouse Aquatics / Midwest Butterflies
4424 U. S. Hwy 59
Cummings, KS 66016

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From David Tilton, North Carolina

Hi Linda,

Thanks for taking the time to follow up. The information received just in the first two days has been amazingly invaluable. I’m afraid if I tell you how I really feel about the value of this workshop, that you will want several hundred more dollars for it.

Take care,
David Tilton
Willow Spring, North Carolina, USA

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From Melanie and Terry McCarthy, Massachusetts


My husband and I send sincere thanks to you, Linda and Paul for the fabulous on-line course. I think you were up 24 hours a day keeping up with all the questions and discussions. It was wonderful that others shared . . . and in so much detail. This weekend I need to put all those discussions and the valuable curriculum you put together into a folder on my computer and back it up!

This is our 14th year in rearing butterflies and I learned more from your recent course than in all those 14 years combined . . . because as anyone knows, we can do things the hard way every year. So many time saving methods, that is what truly helped. I loved discussing the interesting 'traits' of the different species, that's one of my favorite things to do.

Your course has motivated me to raise mourning cloaks again. In a few years . . . when the rest of my life slows a bit. Don't have an empty nest yet. One more to finish his last year in college!

Thank you all so much and special thanks to those who worked behind the scenes as well, Paul and Linda. Everything was beautifully presented - and so well organized, making it easy to learn in a methodical way.

Thanks again. Love,

Melanie and Terry

The Monarchy

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From Chad Limes, Florida

Hello Nigel,

My name is Chad Limes and I have a small butterfly farm here in Florida. I wanted to take a moment to say thank you very much for not only this Max Monarchs but also your books you've written along with your articles and post. I'm very diligent reading anything that you sign your name too. I'm very grateful for you sharing your experience and knowledge of raising butterflies, you've been personally responsible for a lot of our success in raising monarchs. I haven't had much to say on the list and haven't had questions for you because of the detail you provide is so good that all the answers are in your writing. That and we focus on retail sales and this is our busy season and I don't have a lot of extra time.

I've had a lot of fun learning different ways of breeding and it was great reading the MM and finding that we're doing a lot of the things that you've shared. My favorite is feeding the butterflies with the clips. I've attached a pic of our first trial and it was very successful the first time. (I very rarely have success at anything the first time)

Last year we did the pots in the ground (cutting out the bottom) with sleeves and it worked great until the Florida summer melt down, and wow, did it melt down. I was glad to see you mention the FL melt down a couple times in the MM because it took me a few years to figure out that was my problem once summer hit full force.

It's summer time now in FL and so far we haven't melted down yet. We have to bring things inside and do totes (I really don't like totes) but its' necessary this time of year. We still start outside in the nets you suggest (the white ones) and bring them inside in the 4th & 5th instar into totes. It seems to be really working well (so far). I'd like to see if I can get a bulk order of the black nets you use. Once we slow down a little I'll look into.

I've had the opportunity to thank Linda but wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and thank you for the generosity of sharing your knowledge. I'm very grateful for your writings and can't thank you enough. Our business is doing very well and continuing to grow every year. I really can't say enough how big of an influence you've been in our success.

Thank you,

Chad Limes

A Butterfly Release Company, Inc.
Winter Park, Fl
(407) 754-2353
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From: Chad Limes

Sent: Monday, September 24, 2012 1:11 PM
To: Linda Rogers
Subject: RE: Nigel's Next Fabulous Online Workshop!

Hi Linda,

Last year I did the maximize monarchs (think that's what it was called) and it made a huge difference this year with our monarchs making it the most successful season raising monarchs. Knock on wood, we didn't crash with our monarchs this season like we normally do in Florida in late July early August.

I'm glad this is during the slow season and I look forward to it. Thanks for the invite.

Chad Limes
A Butterfly Release Company

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From: Tatia Veltkamp

Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2011
Subject: RE: Nigel's Max growing System


I too have just emerged my last monarch from the first trial with your system and I have never seen such big monarchs with this! I couldn’t decide if the monarchs were big because I’d been working with the tiny PLs for awhile or if they are really big. I’ve decided they are really big! It’s much different than growing on cut plants and I love the lack of work it produced for me!

So, now I’m on to hopefully getting some pairings today and tomorrow and start over again!

Thanks, Nigel, for this new system!


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From Cornelius du Plessis

Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2011
Subject: Trials with Nigel's Max growing System

Hi Nigel,

We're getting to the end of our Monarch growing season in NY and had used your system and an adaptaion of it successfully the second half of our season, we will be tagging and releasing close to 500 butterflies this weekend all grown using your system ,so the first Max growing System Monarchs will start their journey to Mexico this weekend!!

We will also start getting ready for our journey in a couple of weeks to our ranchette in Florida where we had last season built the infra structure to start farming butterflies this winter season.

We never liked farming AD and would like to start experimenting with a Max growing system for painted ladies while in Florida,maybe growing milk thistle, mallow,plantain or any host plant that would fit fast turn around time.

Also do the same for peacocks, buckeyes and the passion vine species, think it could be a lot of fun and also beneficial to all on the list but will only be able to do this with a lot of input from you. The goal would be to breed about 100 of each specie using the Max Grow system.

So Nigel, what do you think about it? All this information could then be used for your new manuals!



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