Monsanto Hawaii Shares the Monarch Butterfly Experience

The monarch butterfly, also known as the king of butterflies, plays an important role in agriculture by assisting with the pollination of flowering crops and contributing to biodiversity. As the monarch butterfly population continues to fluctuate worldwide, Monsanto Hawaii has made a commitment to help restore pollinator habitats across its farms on Oahu, Maui and Molokai, and continue to support monarch butterfly conservation efforts through education.

To generate awareness, Monsanto Hawaii recently formed a partnership with Sharing the Butterfly Experience, the only Hawaii member of the International Butterfly Breeders Association. Through this partnership, Monsanto Hawaii will be donating monarch butterfly kits to several local schools, including Leihoku Elementary School.

The monarch butterfly kit is assembled by the Sharing the Butterfly Experience team, and includes everything a budding butterfly farmer could need, including a live caterpillar, a 24 inch by 12 inch tent to protect the caterpillar from predators, a crown flower plant, and instructions on how to raise monarch butterflies.

Monsanto Hawaii will also give away a few monarch butterfly kits to Hawaii residents by random drawing. From Oct. 11 – Oct. 18, Hawaii residents are encouraged to log on to MonsantoHawaii.com and enter to win. There is no cost to enter the drawing.

“As a sustainable agricultural company, it’s important that we educate the next generation about pollinators like the monarch butterfly and their contribution to the health of our planet,” said Krishna Bayyareddy, entomology production lead at Monsanto Hawaii. “The monarch caterpillar’s food source is milkweed, and the crown flower plant is the most popular kind of milkweed in Hawaii. We hope to encourage others to share in the task of planting crown flower to help restore the butterfly habitat.”

Krishna Bayyareddy and Darlene Loo-McDowell talking butterflies on Hawaii News Sunrise.

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Monarch butterflies undergo a life cycle of four stages. A monarch caterpillar hatches from a tiny egg laid by a female butterfly, then goes through five moltings while feeding on crown flower. From there, it will turn into chrysalis or pupa, and then finally emerge as a fully developed butterfly. This process from egg to adult butterfly takes up to 24 days.  

“Raising butterflies is a very rewarding and therapeutic process,” said Darlene Loo-McDowell, owner of Sharing the Butterfly Experience. “I’m grateful that companies like Monsanto are taking important steps in helping the monarch butterfly population flourish.” 

In 2015, Monsanto Hawaii implemented a program to restore pollinator habitats across its farms, by planting crown flower, in an effort to increase the butterfly’s milkweed habitat and protect biodiversity. Crown flower, known in Hawaii as pua kalaunu, belongs to the milkweed family and is said to be the favorite flower of Queen Liliuokalani who often wore it as a lei. Today, more than 300 crown flower plants can found thriving at Monsanto Hawaii farms. And, by the end of this year, Monsanto will unveil its first official butterfly sanctuary at its Kunia farm.

Monsanto also partners with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Monarch Watch, Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium, Pheasants Forever, University of Guelph and the University of Illinois at Chicago, Energy Resources Center to specifically address this element of biodiversity.

Monarch Butterfly Contest

Contest Rules/Term & Conditions: 

  • Log on to MonsantoHawaii.com to enter
  • Contest opens October 11, 2017 at midnight and ends 11:59 pm October 18, 2017
  • Fill out the form to enter
  • One (1) entry per person
  • No purchase necessary to enter
  • Must live/reside in Hawaii
  • With entry includes e-newsletter signup
  • Winning entry non-transferrable
  • Free shipping included within Hawaii
  • Winner will be notified by October 31, 2017
  • Winner will be selected by random drawing
  • Upon receiving the kit in the mail, winner should open delivery package within 24 hours of receiving, to protect the caterpillar
  • The monarch butterfly kit is assembled by the Sharing the Butterfly Experience team, and includes everything a budding butterfly farmer could need, including a live caterpillar, a 24 inch by 12 inch tent to protect the caterpillar from predators, a crown flower plant, and instructions on how to raise monarch butterflies.