Frequently Asked QUestions (F.A.Q)

For Butterfly Breeding Centers

  1. (Q): How difficult is it to work with butterflies?
    (A): Working with butterflies is not difficult at all.They should be left alone to propagate on their own. It is the environment created in the enclosure (Lepidome) that depicts the success rate of your breeding butterflies.
  2. (Q): What is a Butterfly Breeding Center?
    (A): A Butterfly Breeding Center is a place where butterflies are bred in an enclosure of no more than 12m (L) x 6m (W) x 2.4m (H). This enclosure is called a Lepidome. It has specific design and material specifications that are essential to the welfare of the butterflies being bred.
  3. (Q): How much does it cost to set up?
    (A): To set up a Lepidome of the above mentioned size mentioned in the answer to question 3, will cost approximately 12 thousand rand.
  4. (Q): How many butterflies could I successfully breed in this enclosure?
    (A): The yield of butterflies bred in the size of the Lepidome mentioned in the answer to question 3, varies from season to season. (S) would yield as many as 2 000 butterflies. In (A) the yield would increase by approximately 15%. In (W) this usually drops to almost half of the yield produced in (A) and in (Sp) the yield of butterflies would increase to about 25% of the yield produced in (S)
  5. (Q): How big a piece of land do I require to own a Butterfly breeding Center?
    (A): You would need at least 100 square meters for the size Lepidome described in the answer to question 3, mentioned above.
  6. (Q): How do I make money from this enterprise?
    (A): Butterflies are required for many occasions and functions. Here are some examples; for release at weddings as confetti, funerals, parties and other similar functions; School projects and filming of butterflies by independent parties of the film industry. There are also classroom tours and individual local tours to be had. To see what butterflies are sold for see the website www.butterflyweddings.co.za
  7. (Q): Where will I get my initial stock of butterflies to begin with?
    (A): Your initial butterfly breeding stock will come from the South African Butterfly Breeding Association (SABBA) in Ramsgate of Kwa-Zulu Natal. For the size of the Lepidome mentioned in the answer to question 3, will allow you to be supplied with 8 gravid (pregnant) females.
  8. (Q): How many eggs will I receive from each gravid female?
    (A): This is difficult to say for sure. But on an average - each gravid female should produce no less that 55 eggs each. If you times this by 8 females that would give you 440 eggs. However, gravid females usually lay up to 120 eggs each. That would give you around 960 eggs.
  9. (Q): How many of these eggs will eventually become butterflies that I can sell?
    (A): This is a difficult question, simply because it is not I that will be breeding your butterflies. However should you have the proper training and information and you do everything correctly as you will be taught - then a loss of 10% of your eggs is understandable and you should bring through a healthy 400 butterflies (if each female provided gives you 55 eggs each) but this could be as much as 860 healthy butterflies.
  10. (Q): What training will I require?
    (A): Well, you will be provided with the course material to study and will write an exam to obtain a "Certificate of Competence" - The course is provided by the South African Butterfly Breeding Association (SABBA), as a correspondence course with the exam being online as stipulated by your correspondence instructor. Once this exam has been completed and you have your Lepidome constructed - will you then be supplied with the butterfly breeding stock. See www.sabba.co.za for courses.
  11. (Q): Are there any other hidden costs?
    (A): Yes there is. Before one can start setting up you will need a site inspection to make sure that your Lepidome is in the right place. There will also be sampling of butterflies and other insects as well as the identification of local host plants. This will enable SABBA to provide you with the correct butterfly species of your area to breed. The cost of such and inspection is 12 thousand rand and it is a once off.
  12. (Q): Am I to understand, that the entire cost of becoming a breeder and having a Butterfly Breeding Center, would be in the region of 24 thousand rand?
    (A): Unfortunately not. You would still have to approach the South African Butterfly Breeding Association (SABBA) for your course material which will cost anything between 4 thousand to 9 thousand rand - depending on the course modules selected by yourself. This excludes the sourcing of your required host plants. This could cost you another +- 4 thousand rand - again depending on where you source them from. No, I would safely indicate that one should look at an investment of perhaps 40 thousand rand to cover all your bases.
  13. (Q): How long would it take me to make back my investment?
    (A): From the point that you are set up and breeding from the stock provided by the South African Butterfly Breeding Association (SABBA) - it would be relatively easy to estimate a suitable time frame. Assuming that you have from the 8 gravid females supplied by SABBA acquired 440 eggs - and that you loose the 10% on average - giving you a round figure of 400 eggs becoming full grown butterflies - each being sold at 55 rand on the first brood. - should provide you with a reasonable income of 22 thousand rand. There are usually 4 to 8 broods per year - but working on only 4 broods will provide you a reasonable income of 88 thousand rand. Your capital investment has already been returned in the breeding of the second brood.
  14. (Q): Is this the type of income I can expect from my Butterfly Breeding Center?
    (A): Remember that I am addressing these questions asked on the level of a beginner and therefore it would be unfair of me to provide you with ultimate answers. - However the answer would be no. - one particular Butterfly Breeding Center has a high turn over and have been breeding butterflies for the last eight years and average an income of 110 thousand rand per month. - It would be unfair for you to imagine that you could have these achievements in one year as a beginner.
  15. (Q): Where will I find people to order butterflies from me?
    (A): The South African Butterfly Breeding Association (SABBA) will provide you with your orders for the 1st 12 months by which time you should be well established and on your way to operate by yourself. You will also be advertised as a breeder on several butterfly related websites - including www.butterflysanctuaries.co.za
  16. (Q): How do I go about getting started?
    (A): Please contact the South African Butterfly Breeding Association (SABBA) directly on the following email address: info@sabba.co.za

For Butterfly Sanctuaries

  1. (Q): What is a Butterfly Sanctuary?
    (A): A butterfly Sanctuary is a tourist attraction and destination in which there are many facets - a Lepidome for butterflies - a craft shop - a wedding co-coordinating and bridal shop - a restaurant - a tea garden - a large indigenous nursery - a breeding room - a pupae room - a conference center - and shops to rent out - a river with coy fish - a volcano setting - with an orchid house in the middle - and plenty of parking.
  2. (Q): How big is a Butterfly Sanctuary?
    (A): You would need an area of at least 1024sqm excluding the parking area.
  3. (Q): How do I make money from a Butterfly Sanctuary?
    (A): Well, It is a complex of shops as answered in Question 1's answer - so it stands to reason that your first income will be derived from the rentals charged per shop in the center - Each shop is 12sqm - excluding the Conference centre that is 24sqm. There are 9 shops - excluding the Lepidome, tea garden, large indigenous nursery, breeding room, pupae room and orchid house. The rental of the 9 shops alone would give you back your investment over three years.
  4. (Q): How many feet would I expect to come through the Butterfly Sanctuary?
    (A): It is difficult to give exact figures - bearing in mind that this would be determined by the province and area in which the Butterfly Sanctuary is based - however we can give a rough estimation from figures that we have from the Ramsgate Butterfly Sanctuary between the periods of 2002 to 2008. On an average - 148 couples per day excluding children, bus tours and pensioners.
  5. (Q): What would it cost to build a Butterfly Sanctuary?
    (A): The cost of the Butterfly Sanctuary - would vary from province to province. A cost factor to consider is the delivery of materials. The construction itself is approximately R1800 per sqm. This is excluding any vegetation, props or decor. Times this by 1024sqm as seen in the answer to question 2 - would give you the sum of 1.84 million rand.
  6. (Q): How long would it take to build such a Butterfly Sanctuary?
    (A): The actual building of the Butterfly Sanctuary will take approximately six months to its completion.
  7. (Q): Who would build this Butterfly Sanctuary?
    (A): You could build it yourself - which will save you quite alot of money or you can contract the South African Butterfly Breeding Association (SABBA) to build it for you. Info@sabba.co.za
  8. (Q): Where would be the best place to build a Butterfly Sanctuary?
    (A):The best location to build such a Butterfly Sanctuary would be about 30km outside of a city center. A nice short drive from the city where people can come to relax and enjoy the day - as if going to a park where they can braai but have some conveniences close by - along with an awesome nature experiences.
  9. (Q): As an interested person to own a Butterfly Sanctuary, what is the next step?
    (A): Contact our offices and make an arrangement for a proper presentation via email to info@sabba.co.za

For Farming with Butterflies

  1. (Q): How difficult is it to work with butterflies?
    (A): Working with butterflies is not difficult at all.They should be left alone to propagate on their own. It is the environment created in the enclosure (Lepidome) that depicts the success rate of your breeding butterflies.
  2. (Q): What is Butterfly Farming?
    (A): Butterfly Farming is similar to any other live stock farming but with a combination of - for example tomato farming. Imagine farming cows and tomatoes together. in this case the cows are the butterflies and the tomatoes are the hostplants. this can be done either in the open land or in a type of hothouse effect.
  3. (Q): How much does it cost to set up?
    (A): I will have to answer this question in two steps; these are the the open land method or the hot house effect method.
    • In the open land method - it is the cost of the host plants that you will plant in a certain area allocated. the younger the trees the longer one would have to wait for them to be big enough to accommodate the butterflies to come. And of course it will also only be determined by the size and the amount of trees one wants to plant. - but for the answer we will estimate say 100 tree seedlings. The cost will be no higher that approximately 2 thousand rand. Irrigation of these trees will be calculated by the water used - either bore hole or from a river/stream as well as the weeding of the area. this is minimal for the exception of any labor you would acquire from time to time. - let say another 2 thousand rand for the year. - depending what you would pay a laborer.
    • In the hot house effect method one has to include the hothouse itself. This would be in the region of 40 thousand rand to accommodate the host plants mentioned above in paragraph 1/. of this answer. So you are looking at an initial outlay of 44 thousand rand. The structure would measure 52m(L) x 4m(W) x 2.4m(H).
  4. (Q): How many butterflies could I successfully breed in these two methods?
    (A): Again, I will have to answer this question in two steps; these are the the open land method or the hot house effect method.
    • In the open land method - Nature takes it own course and depending on the availability of gravid butterflies in your area would naturally provide you with thousands of butterfly eggs. I can not say for sure how many butterflies you would be able to breed as I have no idea just where you are located or what butterflies occur in that area without it being identified.
    • In the hot house effect method - The yield of butterflies bred in the size of the Lepidome mentioned in the answer to question 3, varies from season to season. (S) would yield as many as 10 000 butterflies. In (A) the yield would increase by approximately 15%. In (W) this usually drops to almost half of the yield produced in (A) and in (Sp) the yield of butterflies would increase to about 25% of the yield produced in (S)
  5. (Q): How big a piece of land do I require to own a Butterfly Farm?
    (A): You would need at least 220 square meters for a sized Lepidome described in the answer to question 3. mentioned above.
  6. (Q): How do I make money from this enterprise?
    (A): Butterflies are required for many occasions and functions. Here are some examples; For release at weddings as confetti, funerals, parties and other similar functions. School projects and filming of butterflies by independent parties of the film industry. There are also classroom tours and individual local tours to be had. The setting up of a tea garden and small craft shop are also good options to implement. To see what butterflies are sold for see the website www.butterflyweddings.co.za
  7. (Q): Where will I get my initial stock of butterflies to begin with?
    (A): Your initial butterfly breeding stock will come from the South African Butterfly Breeding Association (SABBA) in Ramsgate of Kwa-Zulu Natal. For the above mentioned size of the Lepidome mentioned in the answer to question 3. will allow you to be supplied with 30 gravid (pregnant) females.
  8. (Q): How many eggs will I receive from each gravid female?
    (A): This is difficult to say for sure. But on an average - each graved female should produce no less that 55 eggs each. If you times this by 8 females that would give you 1650 eggs. However, gravid females usually lay up to 120 eggs each. That would give you around 3600 eggs.
  9. (Q): How many of these eggs will eventually become butterflies that I can sell?
    (A): This is a difficult question, simply because it is not I that will be breeding your butterflies. However should you have the proper training and information and you do everything correctly as you will be taught - then a loss of 10% of your eggs is understandable and you should bring through a healthy 1485 butterflies (if each female provided gives you 55 eggs each) but this could be as much as 3240 healthy butterflies.
  10. (Q): What training will I require?
    (A): Well, you will be provided with the course material to study and will write and exam to obtain a "Certificate of Competence" - The course is provided by the South African Butterfly Breeding Association (SABBA), as a correspondence course with the exam being online as stipulated by your correspondence instructor. Once this exam has been completed and you have your Lepidome constructed - will you then be supplied with the butterfly breeding stock. see www.sabba.co.za
  11. (Q): Is there any other hidden costs?
    (A): Yes there is. Before one can start setting up you will need a site inspection to make sure that your Lepidome is in the right place. There will also be sampling of butterflies and other insects as well as the identification of local host plants. This will enable SABBA to provide you with the correct butterfly species of your area to breed. The cost of such and inspection is 12 thousand rand and it is a once off.
  12. (Q): Am I to understand, that the entire cost of becoming a breeder and having a Butterfly Farm, would be in the region of between 16 In the open land method and 40 thousand rand In the hot house effect method?
    (A): I will have to answer this question in two steps; these are the the open land method or the hot house effect method.
    • In the open land method - Unfortunately not. You would still have to approach the South African Butterfly breeding Association (SABBA) for your course material which will cost anything between 4 thousand to 9 thousand rand - depending on the course modules selected by yourself. No, I would safely indicate that one should look at and investment of perhaps 25 thousand rand to cover all your basis.
    • In the hot house effect method; Unfortunately not. You would still have to approach the South African Butterfly breeding Association (SABBA) for your course material which will cost anything between 4 thousand to 9 thousand rand - depending on the course modules selected by yourself. This excludes the sourcing of your required host plants. This could cost you another +- 2 thousand rand for seedlings - again depending on where you source them from. No, I would safely indicate that one should look at and investment of perhaps 50 thousand rand to cover all your basis.
  13. (Q): How long would it take me to make back my investment?
    (A): From the point that you are set up and breeding from the stock provided by the South African Butterfly Breeding Association (SABBA) - it would be relatively easy to estimate a suitable time frame. Assuming that you have from the 30 gravid females supplied by SABBA acquired 1650 eggs - and that you loose the 10% on average - giving you a round figure of 1485 eggs becoming full grown butterflies - each being sold at 55 rand on the first brood. - should provide you with a reasonable income of 81 thousand rand. There are usually 4 to 8 broods per year - but working on only 4 broods will provide you a reasonable income of 326 thousand rand. You capital investment has already been returned in the breeding of the first brood.
  14. (Q): Is this the type of income i can expect from my Butterfly Breeding Center?
    (A): Remember that I am addressing these questions asked on the level of a beginner and therefore it would be unfair of me to provide you with ultimate answers. - However the answer would be no. - one particular Butterfly breeding Center has a high turn over and have been breeding butterflies for the last eight years and average an income of 110 thousand rand per month. - in a space of only 12m (L) x 6m (W) x 2.4m (H) - This is in a Lepidome -It would be unfair for you to imagine that you could have these achievements in one year as a beginner. No one has farmed with butterflies until now and the results of the farming program can only be determined by the end of May 2013 (See farming with butterflies)
  15. (Q): Where will I find people to order butterflies from me?
    (A): The south African Butterfly Breeding Association (SABBA) will provide you with your orders for the 1st 12 months by which time you should be well established and on your way to operate by yourself. You will also be advertised as a breeder on several butterfly related websites - including www.butterflysanctuaries.co.za
  16. (Q): How do I go about getting started?
    (A): Please contact the South African Butterfly Breeding Association (SABBA) directly on the following email address; info@sabba.co.za

For Butterfly Breeding Workshops

  1. (Q): How often do you hold workshops?
    (A): We present workshops wherever necessary and if and when there is a demand and a need.
  2. (Q): If we wanted a workshop held in our area, how do we go about it?
    (A): Arranging a workshop is one of the best ways for any interested person - wanting to get involved in and being part of the butterfly industry. I would suggest that you establish - how many people you can get to attend the workshop - establish the costs involved - and if satisfied - contact us on email address info@sabba.co.za
  3. (Q): How much does it cost to arrange a workshop?
    (A): We are based in Ramsgate of KZN. that is 1 and a half hours from Durban along the South Coast. It would be from this point that I will make some calculations from. Let say you would like the workshop to take place in or around Pretoria. - The petrol coats from Ramsgate to Pretoria differs but is usually around 1200 rand. - the toll gate fares are usually around 600 rand. - accommodation is usually arranged with you before hand - After the work shop it is the trip back from Pretoria to Ramsgate - another 1200rand for petrol and tollgates would be around 600 rand again. Food and beverages are usually about 300 rand each way for our crew. This would make it around 5400 rand in costs. - This is divided into those who will attend. - If their are 20 people it would work out to be approximately 270 per head.
  4. (Q): What will we see at the workshop?
    (A): At the workshop we will present the farming methods of butterflies as well as for Butterfly breeding Centers. - we will also present the working of a butterfly Sanctuary. We will show you the process from when the butterflies lay their eggs - right through their life cycle to when they are butterflies and ready for the market. The entire presentation will be shown live wherever possible.

Members

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Contact Details: Office: Cell: 074 422 5587 ~ Click Here Membership Application Form

From Our Gallery


Welcome to S.A Butterflies

A place for rare butterflies to be and to be protected as they are extremely rare. Only a few have ever been caught - but through our breeding program we have been able to breed over one hundred and have released them back into the wild. Thanks to the dedication of a few who cared for their survival - a very rare butterfly - has been described.