Jump to content
GaryD

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Recommended Posts

Hi,

I thought it was time for an update on my BSF activities.

  • Photo 1.......a 2 litre ice cream container full of kitchen scraps is deposited in the BioPod at 8.00pm.

  • Photo 2.....what remains of the scraps at 6.00am the next morning.

  • Photo 3.....the BSF female does not deposit her eggs directly in the compost but rather in a place which is near to the food source. Once the eggs hatch, the tiny larvae head for the food. The BioPod is fitted with several Corflute discs. The spaces in the discs are where the BSF female lays her eggs. The buff marks on the discs are where the eggs have been laid.

We're getting a small harvest of larvae every morning.

GaryD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

I use meat meal to boost the protein level in the ration that I feed to my quail. I discovered that about 1.5kg of it had gone mouldy so I decided to feed it to my BSF larvae. I mixed it about 2:1 with a blend of wheat bran and pollard and water to form a stiff mix.

Last night, I added about three litres of the mix to my BioPod (along with a 2 litre container of kitchen scraps). This morning, it had gone ....and the collection bucket was about 1/4 full of larvae.

I added a further 4 litres of the meat meal/mill run mix this morning and when I arrived home about ten hours later it was gone, too. Tonight, I checked the collection pot and it was half full of larvae. The top of the BioPod is absolutely crawling.....and I'm a happy man.

GaryD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Gary,

I was wondering if you have ever tried or considered adding a few worms to the Biopod to help break down the left overs from the BSF Larvae further.

I am toying with the idea for my Biopod - figure it might be a way to sweeten up the lechate that comes out the bottom - as the worms would airate the leftover stuff at the bottom that the BSF have not eaten - and make sure it was not going anerobic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Hamish,

I was wondering if you have ever tried or considered adding a few worms to the Biopod to help break down the left overs from the BSF Larvae further.

I think you'll find that, once the BSF larvae are established, they'll displace any worms that might be in your BioPod. BSF larvae have voracious appetites....and that may well include work capsules and even worms.

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been trying to work out if there have been any eggs layed in the BioPod or if the BSF Larvae are from the initial batch of seed larvae that was given to me when I purchased the BioPod.

I just went to feed the BioPod and with a torch I noticed a couple of very small larvae - not sure if they are BSF or not. Could be some other larvae.

If the small larvae are BSF Larvae then I have obviously missed seeing the eggs altogether.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hamish,

Take a look at my post in this thread for 22nd March. There's a photo of the Corflute plastic discs under the lid......this is where the Soldier Fly female lays her eggs.

Expect everything to be happening much more slowly......particularly the growth of the larvae....given the current temperatures.

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Gary - I did look at the disk - but no evidence of the buff coloured shading shown in your photo. Who knows - perhaps they are laying up under the rim of the BioPod - or perhaps they are not laying at all at the moment.

I am getting plenty of larvae crawling off each day - and I am putting them all out into the hatchery I have hanging in the tree (see photo) - which is filled with wood shavings. I am hoping that this will seed the local population as they hatch.

Im just thinking if they keep crawling off and they dont get replaced with new eggs it wont be long before there are none left in the BioPod.

I guess time will tell :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hamish, I have not had any luck with BSF. I obtained a handful of larvae from GaryD summer before the one just finished and they went very well up until the winter set in, then all gone.

This summer..... none.

I think there has to be an active population in your area for it to work. Where I live I am pretty much in the bush, nearest neighbour is 200 mtrs away. I have a compost bin that is really well stocked with veggie scraps and no BSF.

I don't think they always find their way back to the bin once mated. I feel there needs to be a population able to be supported in your area generally.

It is only a theory, but that is what I think.

A lot of modern "urban dweller sophisticates" that inhabit our suburbs these days don't eat too many veggies and if they do they wrap the scraps and put them in the regular garbage. No compost bin, no garden, no time. :rolleyes:

I have an acquaintance who lives on the fourth floor apartment in a swanky inner Brisbane suburb , has small compost bin down in the common area which she attends with her small offerings of veggie scraps, (trying to be green) which are delivered wearing her large rubber kitchen gloves and a mask. Upon discovery of these dreadful maggots in her compost bin she rapidly retreated to obtain some Mortein. Can't have that in my bin....how dreadful...:P

I am gradually educating her....She ventured out to the country to see my fish the other day and got quiet excited by it all. She declared, "the fish look very happy", and the sage was....."particularly nice"

You never know what might happen next. ......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I set up a bin with lot of really old vege scraps (too old for the rabbits), and left overs that were in the back of the fridge from who-knows-when. I was smelly from the first day. Ants found it quickly, so I put it in a larger container with a little water in the bottom. I kept adding veges that are no good for the rabbits.

On Saturday, I was excited to see it writhing with activity. On a closer look, though, I couldn't see any larvae that resembled the pictures that are on the BSF information sheets or on this site. Do they always look the same and only change in size, or do the younger BSF larvae look similar to any other? Also, how quickly do they mature. I was under the impression that they took 2 weeks or so. Does anyone get them really fast?

With a lack of ideas on how to get the larvae out of the bin, I set up a coil of hose hoping they'd climb up the middle of it and out into a bottle. On Sunday morning, the water around the container was filled with larvae that had climbed up the outside of the hose, and found their way under the lid and fell to their death. I fed a few that were still alive to my chickens - they loved them, and didn't seem to mind that they weren't BSF

Questions: Will the other flies larvae be able to turn into flies while still in the bin, or do they need to get out? Is there any problem with using whatever larvae I can produce to feed the chickens?

I know these are very broad questions, but any input is good... I'm going to order a Biopod this week. I still think that I'll need to keep in in water to keep the ants from it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

Do they always look the same and only change in size, or do the younger BSF larvae look similar to any other?

Yes, they do like any other fly maggots when they are small.....and they change colour as they grow to full size (about 20mm).

Also, how quickly do they mature. I was under the impression that they took 2 weeks or so. Does anyone get them really fast?

In warm weather, they will mature in just two weeks.....but they can take up to several months in cooler weather.

Questions: Will the other flies larvae be able to turn into flies while still in the bin, or do they need to get out? Is there any problem with using whatever larvae I can produce to feed the chickens?

Some of them will turn into flies inside of the bin (depends on species). Your chickens will not discriminate.....they'll eat any kind of fly larvae.

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gary, thanks for the info. I feel better about it all now. It definately is a good producer of maggots. I'd say there are a couple of hundred floating in the water now. tomorrow I'll clean them out, then I'll start making them a daily meal for the chicks. I gave them a few more today - they sure like them.

Hamish, thanks for the tip. I'd never even heard of agricultural glue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great Idea. That would save me a bit of work - they'd have food on tap. I have to finish my big chicken run yet. At the moment the chickens are young and inside a small cage in the rabbit enclosure. I'll give it a try at least. I think there may be a problem with the water getting so dirty everyday that the maggots can just walk out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

re chooks eating ants - mine definitely eat termites and I am reasonably sure

they eat some varieties of ants as well. They love it when I throw in a rotting log into their run.

They are such amazing backyard animals -they plow the ground, eat kitchen scraps, don't bark

or attack and provide lovely eggs to eat. I really appreciate my chooks! They do have downsides

in wrecking garden beds that really shouldn't be and upsetting the wife

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All good to know - especially that they eat some ants and mice. I have definately come to love the chooks' versatility, and I wouldn't be without them in my IBFP plan. I have a fairly good method of collection of the maggots now- but still a little labour intensive. I have ordered a Biopod, which will hopefully remove that element - and enable me to catch the BSF if they are around.

I have also ordered some feeder roaches, which I hope the chooks will love as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chooks are great at eating flys as well. Ours had a great diet of mice during the plague a few years back. Go vegetarian eggs! (sorry Hamish, not sure if you eat eggs)

Yep - I have no problem with eggs in things. I dont really have any problem with people eating whatever they like - ill even cook BBQ meat and fish for friends - it doesnt bother me. I just choose not to eat it. And I think the way the world is heading a lot of people might have to become vego - but not out of choice rather out of necessity :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.

Albert Einstein.

German-born physicist (1879 - 1955)

Albert-I-2.jpg

Some pretty smart people agree with you Hamish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Frank,

My favourite way to have rabbit legs (front & back) is to enjoy the flavour of the meat. A home grown rabbit doesn't need to be hidden in a stew like a farm caught rabbit.

The main problem with ALL the restaurant cooked rabbit that I've ever had is the cuts. I have often got the feeling that the chef's don't care about the cut of rabbit - it's just a stew! - so they just hack it up and bits of bone are all through it! :confused: I take care when I'm cutting the rabbit up. I make sure I have a nice 'drumstick' and nice 'wings' - kids who see rabbit cooking will mistake it for chicken. You can get both these without breaking a bone by dislocating the shoulders, and cutting through.

I put some flower in a plastic bag and add some sea salt and some ground pepper. The exact amount of each is a bit of an art, and I've never measured. Add each of the legs, and coat. Heat a thin layer of Olive oil in a pan, and fry the legs. You'll need to put in the rear legs a fair bit before the front legs so they're ready together.

It's simple but it's great!!

Of course you're welcome to come around and try, but It'll be a while before any are ready to eat - I've had a lot of interest in purchasing breed stock since I did my last tasting night. :)

Oh, and the rest of the meat is along the back bone - that I do put into a stew. If I'm eating it hot, I'll eat it on the bone, if I'm saving it for later, I'll let it cool and pick the meat from the bones - then it takes up less space in the bowls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...