Meanwhile at the Butterfly Bar

After a long and hot period the time has come to set up the butterfly bar again. Lots of flowers in nature have ended blooming while others simply weathered due to the lack of rain. It’s time to invite some visitors for a “drink”.

Trying to figure out the best mixture for attracting butterflies I’m now testing two new recipes. Early spring, I already had pretty good results after setting up the butterfly bar. Back then, I used a mixture which I obtained from the Facebook group Butterflies and moths of Finland.

I’ve now placed two new mixtures into the garden, one based on red wine and another on beer. Please note at this stage I’m still experimenting.

The General’s Red

  • Cheap red wine
  • Dark syrup
  • Yeast
  • Salt

Mix the ingredients, take an even amount of wine and syrup. Add some salt. I used sea salt as I hope this would provide an additional lure to species generally soaking minerals. Add some yeast (the mixture will be fine also without yeast, but I try to add more flavor to the drink). Last, add something allowing butterflies to land on your drink. I cut a sponge into stripes which I placed in a small glass vessel with the mixture (see photos).

Foaming Freddy

  • Cheap lager beer
  • Dark syrup
  • Yeast
  • Salt

Mix the ingredients, take an even amount of beer and syrup. As with The General’s Red, add some salt to the mixture. Then, add yeast which plays an important role in this drink. The mixture needs to ferment before becoming really attractive to butterflies. Both the smell but also the alcohol will attract visitors. Add something allowing butterflies to land on. For this drink I used an old wipe which provides extra surface spreading the smell (see photos)

The General’s Red should attract Butterflies right away whereas Foaming Freddy needs some time, a couple days perhaps, to become really attractive. Place the jar with the mixture on a sunny spot in your garden..

I got Red Admirals (Vanessa atalanta) visiting both drinks on the next day after opening the bar (the wine-based mixture seems to work better so far). My goal is to get a Moarning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa) visiting our garden. Depending on the habitat you’re living in you can even expect species such as the Purple Emperor (Apatura iris) or the Poplar Admiral (Limenitis populi) to come feed on your setup. Unfortunately, in my case there’s rather small chances for that to happen.

The bait has been placed. I’ll be back with a post on the top results soon.

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