How you can help hibernating butterflies this winter!

Monday, 8 October 2018 12:15:10 Europe/London

Where do butterflies go in the winter?

Have you ever wondered what happens to butterflies through the winter? It's a difficult month for them, but our butterfly house provides the perfect solution!

Butterflies are a beautiful sight in sunnier months, fluttering from flower to flower, helping our gardens look beautiful in more ways than one! 

Well, come winter, these pollination superstars have to go somewhere right?

Monarch butterflies, the largest butterfly seen in the British Isles, is known for its ability to migrate long distances. In fact across the pond, adult butterflies can migrate from as far north as Canada to Mexico, where they stay for the winter. The migration is considered one of nature's most incredible sights - just check out this incredible video! 


Butterfly House

While many species seen in the UK will also migrate south for the winter, many species of British butterflies stay in the country and go into hibernation.


Which types of British butterflies hibernate

There are around 59 species of butterfly known to breed of those in the UK. Some of those that hibernate over the winter are*:

  • Red Admiral
  • Painted Lady
  • Peacock
  • Small Tortoiseshell
  • Speckled Wood
  • Brimstone
  • Clouded Yellow

Some species may survive winter as eggs or caterpillars, but many adult butterflies may make it through by hibernating in the right place.

Where do butterflies hibernate? 

The problem is, a butterfly's body can't warm itself up like humans or mammals can - they need external sources of heat - this is where the problems start. The ideal environment for successful butterfly hibernation is actually somewhere cold and dry.

The purpose of hibernation is to conserve energy, so if butterflies get too warm they'll come out of hibernation, fly around and waste energy. They then may not be able to find their way back to a suitable shelter. If the butterfly gets wet or chooses somewhere damp to hibernate they can suffer from fungal infections.

Seeking warmth when cold snaps appear, some butterflies may find their way to your house. Central heating isn't good for butterflies at all - it can actually kill them.

How to provide a safe shelter for butterflies to hibernate

Our butterfly houses provide the ideal shelter for butterflies year round. In the summer, you may have used the flip down feeder tray to hold sugar and water, butterfly food or pieces of ripe fruit for butterflies to feed on. In the winter, the habitat can be closed to provide the perfect shelter for butterflies, moths and other insects to snuggle up inside. The butterfly house is made from slow-seasoned timber which is naturally durable, perfect to protect them from wind and rain, as well as any birds that may 

Non-migratory butterflies, moths, and other insects will snuggle up in there to see the winter through!



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Greenhouse Sensation

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