Posted on May 27, 2016

North Carolina Butterfly Highway

NCBBI Butterfly Highway Sign

Photo of Martha and Will Krauss (803 Elizabeth) courtesy The Charlotte Observer

North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Inns members Martha and Will Krauss from 803 Elizabeth in Matthews, watched David Mizejewski, a television naturalist and National Wildlife Federation spokesperson, put up a sign designating their inn as an official pit stop on the Butterfly Highway.

The couple recently certified their inn as part of the Butterfly Highway by ensuring their grounds provide food and water as well as offer a habitat for native pollinators (including bees and hummingbirds).

Martha Krauss said she’s enjoyed watching butterflies in her garden for years and has hosted beehives at the inn for the past five years. But since the butterfly highway project came along, she has a new respect and appreciation for pollinators.

“The butterflies are beautiful to look at, but they are so much more,” Krauss said. “The Butterfly Highway project has helped to give us a new awareness of the importance of pollinators in our local environment.”

North Carolina is home to approximately 170 species of butterflies, 1,200 types of moths and 500 kinds of native bees. There are several species of butterfly, including the monarch, that are considered to be threatened or endangered due to loss of host plant habitat.

The Butterfly Highway is a program of the N.C. Wildlife Federation that seeks to plant large tracks of land with native pollinator-friendly flowers and vegetation to help combat the dwindling numbers of butterflies and bees.

Monarch Butterfly

The world population of monarch butterflies has declined quickly. The only migrating butterfly, the monarch makes its way from North America to Central Mexico and back again each year, and North Carolina is a prime portion of the butterfly’s route.

The goal of the North Carolina conservation restoration initiative is to create a network of native pollinator plants to support butterflies, bees, birds and other pollen and nectar dependent wildlife.

The network will include green spaces and pollinator gardens that will connect and thread thread throughout North Carolina to create The Butterfly Highway.

The Butterfly Highway began with 70 sites in the pilot project. In the past two months, it has expanded statewide to 500 sites. Pollinators are critical to the $78 billion agricultural economy of North Carolina.

Because more than 70 percent of crops either require insect pollination or have a higher production because of pollinator insect visits, Angelique Hjarding says the Butterfly Highway is vital to many insects.

Big Mill Woodpecker

Chloe Tuttle of Big Mill Bed and Breakfast in Williamston attracted a beautiful woodpecker with her homemade bird treat.

All of our North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Inns display our state’s natural beauty including our beautiful butterflies, pollinating bees, blooming flowers, gorgeous gardens, and stately trees. We offer special places like our balconies, decks, gazebos, and porches from which to view our such captivating nature scenes. Our NC B&B Inns welcome you to experience your own B&B vacation.