JUNE 1 2022
It is now release season. Butterflies for release sell out quickly: our capacity is on a weekly basis, and all it takes is one or two big orders to sell out a week. If you have the ability to order and plan in advance for your event, please do so as soon as possible for best availability.
We continue to offer hatchling kits and isopods throughout the summer, and are beginning the process of restarting our outreach division.
MAY 15, 2022
Please know that our last day for taking orders of caterpillar kits will be May 25, 2022. After that, our girls' final eggs will be laid, and we are out of time to get new caterpillars for the remainder of the rearing kit season.
We do not ship caterpillar kits late into the summer due to the increases nationwide of BTK and NPV pesticide spraying: the success rates of kits drops too low for us to be comfortable with. Our caterpillars are put at great risk by widespread, common pesticide use: and as we move into the hotter, drier months, spray use increases. We have years of data indicating that summer caterpillar kits do not do well, and samples indicating pesticides are a culprit.
This does not affect adult butterfly releases, who are reared indoors, in our lab, in the relative safety.
Please get your final orders in soon!
STATEMENT: APRIL 27, 2022
ATTN, ALL NEW ORDERS: SHIPPING FEE CHANGE
As are are sure most of us have noticed, fuel prices got a *little* high recently. We did not really expect this to effect our Purolator rates, as historically, fuel prices have not impacted our custom fees.
However, it has become apparent to us that this year is very different.
Purolator has increased their fees in some cases by hundreds of percent. Our historical shipping rates, which have been unchanged for 10 years, cannot accommodate the new fees for express service that they are charging. Prices have skyrocketed and Purolator is saying they can't do any more discounts, because it's all fuel surcharges.
As a result, we have mandated a sudden and upsetting price increase on shipping only. This effects all orders shipped outside Edmonton placed as of now.
Please be aware this does not affect individual or school orders placed before April 27, 2022. We are just going to eat those fees for this shipping season.
Group shipments and wholesalers: you will be contacted independently.
We apologize sincerely for this, and are actively seeking solutions. But unfortunately we cannot control the price of fuel.
PLEASE reach out to Education Station if you would like to pick up and can make it to Edmonton! They are our retail partners in the city, and are well set up for pickups in their Edmonton retail stores.
STATEMENT: April 18, 2022:
RE: Caterpillar Season!!
We are approaching the start of shipping season! Our earliest caterpillars go out April 25. Luckily we still have availability within the season for last minute orders, as does Education Station (our retail partners). However, we recommend contacting us immediately as we will begin closing our shipping weeks this weekend. Specifically, orders for week of April 25 will close Sunday, April 10.
Providing availability remains, all subsequent weeks will close for orders on subsequent Sundays.
Contact us immediately if you would like caterpillars this year!
STATEMENT: April 5 2022
RE: MANTIS HATCHLINGS!
We have babies!!! They hatched this morning and we expect more this week. All existing orders that were listed as ASAP will be notified; we intend to fulfil your orders on April 18, once the nymphs are 2 weeks old and established.
If you haven't ordered mantis hatchlings yet, now is a great time because we have plenty!! They live 6-8 months and get 4 inches long, and are vibrant, engaging, active predators that can be conditioned to hand feeding and interaction.
Hatchling kits come with 3 nymphs in starter housing containers, and a culture of fruit flies to feed them, both of which last about 1 month before the mantis outgrow them. At that point, you will need to source larger housing and larger food items.
UPDATE APRIL 25: WE HAVE SO MANY BABIES
STATEMENT:March 1, 2022:
We are not going to be re-launching our outreach division for in-school field trips for the time being. We will re-assess the status of this no earlier than September, 2022. Please monitor our website for updates at that time.
Alberta's "re-opening" does not affect this statement: our animals cannot tolerate the presence of sanitizing products and the cleaning regimes at the level they are in schools right now (hand sanitizer, quat sprays, etc).
STATEMENT: January 1, 2022
RE: Caterpillar Season + BTK spraying
Things are proceeding as normal for the shipping season this year: please note we will not be offering ANY late ship dates this year due to the increased issues of BTK spraying across Canada in wake of the Spongy Moth bloom in 2021. Usually mass spraying and fogging occurs in June, so we will be mitigating that by ceasing all caterpillar shipping on June 6, or earlier if need be, depending on region. Please get your order in early.
We reserve the right to cancel your order if we assess you are in a region with significant spraying of BTK, which kills our caterpillars just as effectively as it does all caterpillars in nature. Be mindful and please do the right thing for our animals: if your neighbourhood, city, county or region announces a rigorous spray regime at any point in 2022, please contact us immediately to explore solutions. BTK is deadly to caterpillars and we cannot fulfill warranties for pesticide deaths.
STATEMENT: May 5, 2021
RE: Alberta School Closures
On May 4, the Alberta government announced that all schools will be moving to at-home learning for approximately 2 weeks, effective May 7. This affects several of our most popular May shipping dates for schools in our province.
We acknowledge that this is a difficult time for teachers and for students, and we’d like to support you whatever way we can. However, we do need to let you know that we are currently unable to re-schedule or postpone any kits to a later shipping date due to the gridlocked, sold out nature of this year’s caterpillar season. Caterpillars are notoriously inflexible at the best of times (you can’t press pause on a living thing), and our community of breeders is overstretched more than a typical year. At our lab, we have a weekly “caterpillar capacity,” and once it’s full, we can’t add more. All our late dates are currently full.
The one saving quality: the caterpillar project takes 3-4 weeks to complete. Providing that we are back in session on schedule (fingers crossed!), your class will be able to experience the finale of the project in person.
Here’s how it may affect you:
MAY 10 SHIP DATE: these kits will all be shipping as scheduled unless we are notified otherwise - the preparatory work for them is already complete. The caterpillars exist, the food is made, they are already sorted into cups, and these babies need homes to go to. We cannot store kits at the lab: we do not have a location for that. If you need to change your shipping address, please email us immediately with the subject line “ADDRESS CHANGE.” If it is an extreme circumstance and you need to cancel your order outright, please email us with the subject matter “CANCELLATION.”* The deadline for cancellations and address changes for this shipping date is Thursday, May 6, at 12:00 PM MST. If we do not hear from you we will assume things are ok and ship as normal.
*Cancelled orders for May 10 shipping date will still be charged full price due to the short notice. We apologize for the inconvenience. These rejected caterpillars are donated to low-income facilities and not-for-profits: they are not re-sold.
MAY 17 SHIP DATE: For this ship date, regular terms and conditions apply. If you need to change your shipping address, please email us immediately with the subject line “ADDRESS CHANGE.” If you need to cancel your order outright, please email us with the subject matter “CANCELLATION.”* The deadline for cancellations and address changes for the May 17 shipping date is Wednesday, May 12, at 12:00 PM MST.
**Cancelled orders for the May 17 shipping date can be carried forward as credits if they are paid, and we don’t have someone waiting to purchase your kit. Unpaid orders can be cancelled outright. Any rejected caterpillars are donated to low-income facilities and not-for-profits: they are not re-sold.
ONGOING SHIPPING DATES (May 25-onwards): Let’s hope we are back in session by then! If not, similar rules and timelines to the May 17 ship date will apply.
TO CONTACT US: