The gardens at Wisley run events alongside the main glasshouse exhibition, such as butterfly-themed afternoon tea and butterfly photography mornings, which have sold out.
There are 300 butterflies in the glasshouse at any one time, with an average of 80-100 hatching each day in the on-site puparium.
Wisley buys the butterfly pupae from Stratford Butterfly Farm. John Calvert, director at the farm, said the cheapest butterflies it sells come in at 65p per pupae, and prices are around £150 a week for a batch.
Calvert explained that the main costs involved are the bills for heating the area where the butterflies are kept, because the room needs to be maintained at 25-30 degsC during the day, and the wages for the staff who look after the site.
Permanent butterfly exhibits require a zoo license, whereas temporary ones do not. Butterfly Jungles Experience & Plant Centre opened at Hall Place & Gardens in Bexley, Kent, last week.