Monarch Butterflies

  • A monarch caterpillar gains about 2,700 times its original weight, with a large caterpillar devouring an entire milkweed leaf in less than four minutes.
  • Monarch wings are orange to warn predators that the butterfly will taste bad or may be toxic.  Milkweed leaves contain toxins that monarchs accumulate in their bodies.
  • Monarchs fly 2,000 miles or more to the cool moist fir forests in central Mexico.
  • Each fall migrating monarchs are 3-4 generations removed from those that made the journey in the spring-yet they still navigate to a specific area of Mexico without a map!
  • The first three generations of monarch butterflies live 6-8 weeks. Yet, the 4th generation-known as the “Super Generation”-lives about 8-9 months, migrating south, overwintering in Mexico and starting to fly the journey north in spring.

 Why are Monarch waystations important?

The monarch butterfly population has dropped more than 80% across North America over the last two decades. Through the Barrington Area Conservation Trust’s increase in monarch habitat on our preserves as well as waystations at churches, schools, villages, parks and at resident’s homes in our community, we are beginning to create a monarch habitat corridor to help this vital pollinator species.

Monarch Waystations are places that provide resources necessary for monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration to Mexico.

By planting milkweed – the host plants for monarch caterpillars – and nectar plants for adult monarchs and pollinators, you can help maintain the monarch migration and sustain the pollinators whose pollinating services maintain our ecosystems.

Monarch Waystations are gardens that are at least 100 square feet and receive at 6 hours or more of sunlight. Without milkweed throughout their spring and summer breeding areas in North America, monarchs would not be able to produce the successive generations that culminate in the migration each fall. Similarly, without nectar from flowers these fall migratory monarch butterflies would be unable to make their long journey to overwintering grounds in Mexico. The need for host plants for larvae and energy sources for adults applies to all monarch and butterfly populations around the world.

To date, a total of 55 monarch waystations have been installed.  At non-profit organizations as well as resident yards.

 List of Waystations

Below is a list of the 26 monarch waystations that have been installed at non-profits in the area.  The cost of these waystations have been covered through grant funds.

2018

  • Atonement Luthern Church
  • Early Learning Living Community
  • Embrace Living Community
  • JourneyCare
  • A.C. Lines School
  • NeuroBalance
  • Prairie Middle School
  • Rose School
  • Smart Farm
  • Station Middle School
  • TimberLakes
  • Tower Lakes
  • Youth For Christ

2017

  • Hough Street School
  • Countryside School
  • Cuba Township
  • Grove Avenue School
  • Lake Barrington Village Hall
  • Noah’s Ark Christian Pre-School
  • North Barrington School
  • Sunny Hill School
  • Barrington Area Park District
  • St. Michaels Church
  • St. Marks Church
  • Barrington High School
  • Village of Barrington Hills

 The Scoop On Honey Bees

Honey Bee Hives at Far Field

You may have noticed some beehives at the West end of Far Field Nature Preserve.  Honey Lake Bee Company maintains these hives and below are some interesting fact about honey bees!

  • Honey Bees will visit 50-100 flowers on each trip, but it takes 2 million visits to make one pound of honey and fly about 90,000 miles!
  • The average bee will make 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime, which is only about 6 weeks in the summer.
  • Honeybees can fly up to 6 miles (typically they stay within 2-3 miles) and fly up to 15 miles per hour.
  • In addition to honey, bees also produce: Beeswax for candles/lip balms, Propolis for medical uses, Royal Jelly for skin care, pollen for protein supplements and allergies and bee venom used for arthritis treatments.

Article: How Having a “Lazy Lawnmower” Can Help The Bee Population

For more information about Honey Lake Bee Company, visit their website at www.HoneyLakeBeeCompany.com