Artifical nectar recipe thanks to Nigel Venters, lepidopterist

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    Nigel’s Butterfly Nectar Recipe

    Nigel Venters

    Here’s my artificial nectar recipe:
    2 lbs of fructose (900 grams)
    2 cups water
    Bring to a boil and let boil 2 minutes. When cool add 2 teaspoons of regular dark soy sauce.

    This is the concentrate which you can bottle up and keep on a shelf. It does not need to be refrigerated as there is so much sugar in it will not spoil. To make nectar you use 1 part concentrate to 9 parts water. That translates to 1 cup of nectar concentrate to 9 cups of water. You can break it down for smaller batches.

    One point that may be useful to some of you on this list, is that those of you that live in very dry areas may like to consider using fructose, instead of cane sugar for this recipe. Fructose is in fact fruit sugar, and almost identical to normal cane sugar in analysis. However, you may be aware that all jam producers use fructose instead of cane sugar, Why? Because it does not re-crystallize, so commercial jam never gets the white crystals that home made jam with (Normal cane sugar) gets.

    Why is this important? Well in very hot dry areas, unless the butterflies are getting plenty of moisture, after feeding, where normally, they will be fine, they are much more inclined to suffer from re-crystallization of the sugar within their bodies, and this means an early death! This is often an explanation of unexplained deaths in the flight-house! Actually fructose is a little sweeter than cane sugar also!

    So this recipe is the same for either fructose, (A little more expensive than cane sugar, but in my view worth it!) or cane sugar. Once the syrup is made up it keeps for ages without re-refrigeration. The idea is to make a concentrated solution, that you can pour a little and just dilute with water each time you need nectar for your butterflies.

    So all you need to do, (Forget the expense and bother of Gatorade and similar fizzy drinks, I always worry about the preservatives they put in these!) Is:

    1. Boil some water and pour onto your Sucrose/Sugar in a jug. (It doesn’t matter how much you do at a time, weights etc are unimportant here)

    2. Use a spoon to agitate the water,and sugars mix. What you are aiming for is a pourable syrup! Just keep stirring the solution to dissolve the sugars! (Note it is quicker with Fructose!) Now you should have a fairly thick, but pourable syrup.

    3. Now add some rich Soy Sauce, (Remember NOT the diet Sot Sauce variety) Just add a little, by little until the whole solution looks like tea without milk. Which is quite dark, but NOT black!

    4. This is well mixed and the whole solution can be cooled down.

    5. Pour solution into empty Pop bottles and store. No need for the fridge, sugar is in fact a preservative, so it will remain inert and in perfect condition until you need it.

    6. When you need nectar, just pour some syrup into a container and mix with some water, at around 10% syrup with water. Taste it, it should taste a little sweet to your tongue. Do not worry, it does not need to be exact!

    7. This is a very fast and easy way to produce the best artificial nectar possible. Note that the Soy sauce adds some salts, vitamins, and minerals that are not present in pure sugars!

    Hope this helps you all, and you’ll find the butterflies love this artificial nectar described above, far better than everything else you can think of!

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