Bio-Fun Lab is a new family owned and operated business. They sell live caterpillars, earthworms, triops, ants and tadpoles. Their goal is to make learning biology fun for children of all ages (even us big kids).
A moms review:
For the past 3 weeks we have had some very special visitors. Meet Climby, Miley, Princess, Queen, Darth Vader, Sky Walker, Hans Solo and Obi Wan Kenobi our Painted Lady Butterflies. They arrived as little tiny caterpillars and we got to experience their metamorphosis into beautiful butterflies. It was certainly a fun and very educational way for my 6 and 7 year old learn all about a butterflies life cycle.
We received 8 caterpillars from Bio-Fun Lab on September 19th. They arrived in a nicely packaged box with a little instruction sheet which also indicated their birthday! There were 4 black, spiky caterpillars in each plastic container (which make great bug catching containers after you are done with them). There is no need to provide them food because it's included. The brown stuff at the bottom of the container is what they will eat until they form their chrysalises. The children said the brown stuff looks like peanut butter. All you need to do is sit back and watch them grow more and more each day. You will even get to see them molt a few times (little black clumps).
For about the next 7 days we observed our caterpillars. We watched them eat and eat and eat. Boy can those little guys eat. Around day 7 they slowly made their way to the top of the container and hung in the shape of a letter, "J". Then one by one they began to form their chrysalises. They attached their chrysalises to the white paper liner on the lid.
After a couple of days we removed the white paper with the chrysalises attached into our butterfly habitat. I simply pinned each of the papers to the mesh with safety pin. I purchased our butterfly habitat off of Amazon last Christmas. It is great for not only observing butterflies but other critters as well. Just this past week we had a little lizard in our habitat that we were observing. I have read that upside down mesh laundry hampers work well too.
Then we waited and watched....
On October 3rd (15 days after our caterpillars arrived) the chrysalises began turning very dark. You could actually start to see the spots on the wings. Then the exciting moment came and they began emerging from their chrysalises.
We decided to observe them for a few days before releasing them. We fed them sugar water solution and watched them flutter around the enclosure. The coolest thing though was we got to see their mating ritual and watch them mate. This was by far the highlight of the rearing process. My daughter was extremely fascinated by how they danced around trying to attract a mate and how they would fight over the female.
Release day came and we decided to take them to a local nature center that has lots of yummy flowers for them to eat. The kids had a lot of fun releasing them.
The process of rearing the butterflies was very simple. We are so happy with the results. We did have a couple casualties, which is to be expected. One did not make it out of its chrysalis entirely and one died of unknown causes. For us though the casualties just furthered our learning. And we were able to make a butterfly life cycle for our Bug Board.
Bio-Fun Lab also sells earthworms, triops, ants and tadpoles. I think tadpoles and ants are next on our list.
To help make this observation experience even more educational I made a Butterfly Journal Page for my children. Download it by clicking here or click on the picture below.
Check out this video to see our entire experience from start to finish:
Links to follow:
-Bio-fun Lab Website
-Bio-fun Lab Facebook page
-Bio-fun Lab Twitter page
Gwyns review (7 yrs old) and Rowyns review (6 yrs old):
Gwyn, "They were really cool. We liked watching them mate. It was lots of fun watching and learning about butterflies"
Rowyn, "I liked watching the butterflies. I learned a lot of cool things."
Where to buy:
You can purchase your caterpillars directly off of the Bio-Fun Lab website. Two containers (like we received) is $16.00. You can also purchase the caterpillars on Amazon too from Bio-Fun Lab, from time to time he runs specials due to overflow. Bio-Fun Lab does guarantee growth all the way to the butterfly stage.
Now time for the giveaway:
Bio-Fun Lab has graciously offered to giveaway two rearing containers (8 caterpillars) to one lucky reader. Only the first entry is mandatory. Other entries are optional and give you extra chances. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook in any way. The winner will be posted on the blog and will be emailed. Winner must reply within 48 hrs with their contact information or another winner will be chosen. Prize will be mailed via Bio-Fun Lab.
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