Durham County

Monarch butterflies get an RTP sendoff

BASF RTP employees are tagging and releasing monarchs who will join the mass migration of butterflies heading for Mexico.

BASF RTP employees are tagging and releasing monarchs who will join the mass migration of butterflies heading for Mexico.
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BASF RTP employees are tagging and releasing monarchs who will join the mass migration of butterflies heading for Mexico.

It’s not every day that a company that helps farmers destroy weeds asks them to plant weeds.

That’s just what BASF's Living Acres is doing with the #MonarchChallenge.

ASF employees tagged and released 30 butterflies in the milkweed gardens on the grounds of BASF’s headquarters Monday to help researchers learn more about the distinctive orange and black insects.

Milkweed is a key part in the reproduction cycle of the monarch butterflies, whose populations have seen serious declines. The research initiative aims to teach growers how to establish and manage milkweed on their operations, by asking them to plant milkweed on non-crop areas of their farms along the monarch migration path from across North America to Mexico.

“Milkweed plants are critical to caterpillars and monarchs all season long,” the project website says. “More milkweed means more monarchs. But growing milkweed isn't always easy.”

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