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A butterfly farm is a facility which raises butterflies. Butterfly farms supply butterflies for planned releases, zoological parks, and butterfly gardens, and they can be found in many regions of the world. Several associations of butterfly breeders promote butterfly farming and provide support to members with farms of their own, such as listings of approved butterfly farms for consumers to consult.
Butterfly farming dates to around the middle of the 1800s, and it is often compared to beekeeping. Both beekeeping and butterfly farming require a great deal of work to keep the insects healthy and happy, and to ensure future generations. At a butterfly farm, the insects are nursed through all of their life stages, from egg sacks to larvae to freshly pupated butterflies, and often several breeds of butterfly are raised at once, which can add to the complexity of running the butterfly farm.
One common use of butterflies from a butterfly farm is in butterfly releases at weddings, funerals, and other events. A butterfly release can be quite a sight, especially when a large number of butterflies are involved, and it can involve all of the guests at the event, or a handful of designated people to release the butterflies. In addition to looking pretty, a butterfly release adds to the ecological health of the community, as butterflies are excellent pollinators.
Butterfly farms also supply butterflies to zoological parks and other organizations which maintain butterfly populations, including butterfly gardens. In a butterfly garden, numerous species of butterflies are allowed to fly free in an enclosed environment with a variety of flowers from the native habitat of the butterflies. Guests can walk through the garden to admire the butterflies; butterfly gardens are often used for events like fundraisers and corporate parties.
Butterflies can also be purchased for release at home or around the garden from a butterfly farm. Many people find butterflies visually pleasing, and they attempt to cultivate a population of the colorful creatures by releasing a batch of them into the garden and providing them with attractive flowers and plants to use for food and shelter. Most butterfly farms maintain lists of which butterflies can be released where, to ensure that the butterflies will not have a negative impact on the environments where they are released.
If you are interested in seeing a butterfly farm, you can look for "butterfly farm" and your area with your favorite search engine. Not all butterfly farms are open to the public, as they are primarily concerned with the health and well being of the butterflies, but many are happy to offer guided tours for interested guests.