Thursday, October 7, 2021

Butterfly house: Where Humanity and Nature Unite

butterfly house

SKY Lyfe was born out of love for the tiny life keepers, we call bees and butterflies.  As apiarists and lepidopterists our hearts were moved over a decade ago, to research and support some of the World’s most innocent insects as well as one of the most feared. It is our mission to bring awareness to these creatures, in hopes of conserving their lives and global importance to humans and animals alike.

We perform a variety of educational presentations for numerous organizations, sharing our research and expertise with the public as well as other experts in the field.  Communication is key when keeping accurate data on the existence and plights of these tiny insects.  This year was the first year we were able to personally interact with individuals from around the world.  As a family we erected a butterfly house in 28 days to catch the butterfly season in progress and created giant exhibits from recycled lumber, logs, plastic bottles and steel mesh.  Each exhibit was a talking point to share an amazing fact about pollinators, the monarch life cycle, monarch migration, honey bee life cycle and buzz pollination.  As artists we also worked on framed, digital art displays that offered a live video and more amazing facts about pollinators.


We never expected to be moved in such a profound way as we shared our heartfelt message with individuals who were local as well as some that were as far away as France.  No matter the geographical area, people shared the joy and fascination of these creatures, particularly the monarchs that we rescued from mowing in the larval stage, reared to the imago or butterfly stage, then after emerging were moved into our butterfly house for no longer than 3 days in order to get a multi-vitamin meal, then were released back to nature healthy and strong.  Every Sunday each visitor to our butterfly house, held and walked out of the enclosure to release a monarch back to nature. This summer, 236 monarchs were released by visitors from an adjoining property with the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge.  For us there was nothing more fulfilling than to see the satisfaction of visitors having been a part in uniting with these winged beauties and ensuring their lives had meaning.  We were ecstatic at the number of people who already knew some facts about bees and butterflies and had many meaningful conversations on the topic of pollinators.

The end of the season has now come and we have closed the butterfly house.  We still have in our possession 168 monarchs which will be tagged and tracked this season.  If you missed being part of our citizen conservation program and your interested in becoming a member in 2022 you can email us anytime for more information at and be part of making a real difference.

We would like to thank everyone who visited and supported our cause and we hope to see you all again next season.


Related Stories

Jackie Woodcock was born and lives in the Adirondack Mountains. She is an apiarist, lepidopterist, conservationist, teacher, writer, artist, and a co-owner of SkyLyfeADK. You can find her SkyLyfeADK on Instagram and Facebook.

5 Responses

  1. Joy Keithline says:

    We just started our first ever pollinators garden at the
    Saratoga YMCA. As beginners luck would have it,
    we released four monarchs, now we too need to erect
    some type of butterfly nursery where we can protect the caterpillars, and safely release monarchs. Any advice you have would be appreciated.

  2. Charlie Stehlin says:

    The butterflies need all the help they can get! The bees too! It was very nice to read above. Thank you for having a conscience!

    • Jackie Woodcock says:

      Thank you for reading my article and for the kind comments. We do our best to help as much as we can.