mary yett wrote:Nancy, where in permies do you discuss wintering over black soldier flies in a cold climate? I live in Canadian zone 4-5 and there is no wild population here. I can by some starter bsf on line, but need to keep them breeding long term.
I have a clivus multrum composting toilet stocked with red wigglers. The vermiposting chamber is quite large and well sealed. It has a small fan venting fumes outside. I am looking into the possibility of adding bsf if I can figure out a way to deal indoors with the adult stage of their life cycle. I think I can cover the venting outlet with a screen to keep adult flies from leaving. It might be difficult to catch them when I open the hatch, however. Hmmm, need to think this through. Maybe I could let most of the adults leave and just keep a small percent as breeders? I need to research how to provide the right environment for the adults to breed though. Any leads on this would be greatly appreciated.
Re: bsf in PNW.... I have just done some research and am tossing this idea out. It seems that larva can be kept warm enough with insulation and their self-generated heat to possibly survive our winters and continue 'eating'.. at least, as far north as Eugene. Its the mating/egg laying that has to be done in light, and at around 70 degrees, which is why buying in larva every year may be necessary.
However, it may be possible to take some (a few) pupating larva inside, buried in a tray of minimum 2" of soil, let them hatch into flies (which are slow moving, live less than 2 weeks, don't eat anything) which mate and then lay eggs. I believe they can be easily contained in a small screened cage, with enough light and warmth. Apparently they readily lay eggs in edges of corrugated cardboard daubed with some foods (can't remember, but can look it up if desired), or, best with exudate from the bottom of the larva feeding container. The hatched larva can be sent off to turn into feed. This whole process happens pretty quickly, btw... raising larva through the winter and to increase larva numbers.
I got this information from talking to the largest larva seller, in one of the Carolinas... who, coincidentally was backlogged on their orders... which I take as a good sign of something ;)
Alder Burns wrote:I usually throw a lot of the kitchen trash and food scraps directly to the chickens. They will eat a lot of it, and this will be a more effective food conversion than passing it through the BSF first. I prefer to keep my BSF going on things that not even the chickens will eat, like their own manure, my own manure, the dog dirt, coffee grounds, rotten and moldy stuff (chickens will quit laying if they eat moldy stuff), and things I know to be natural poisons and anti-nutrients....such as poisonous wild mushrooms. The BSF thrive on all this, and produce a yield of feed from stuff otherwise inedible even to chickens.
thanks - I will try to make a system for that.
Julia Winter wrote:I would look at what Alder said above, about feeding the better stuff to chickens and feeding the BSF larvae things that chickens won't eat. BSF can apparently consume chicken droppings!
Angelika Maier wrote:Is biopod really better than the homemade version?
Sharol Tilgner wrote:I have been composting for about 35 years. I have composted on an 81 acre farm, a 25 acre farm and currently in my tiny back yard. For the first time in all these years, I have black soldier flies in my compost and I am not liking it at all. They are eating up anything soft such as fruit or anything that gets soft and my compost is disappearing into nothingness. They turn into big flies that then fly off with my compost having created their body. I have started trying to pull the thousands I find in masses and use them as bird feed, however, I really want them out of my compost. I can't seem to get them all. I am in-between farms, with only a backyard or I would invite chickens and ducks into the compost pile to eat them up. Currently, the only way I can remove them is with a shovel and give them to song birds. Does anyone have any other ideas of how to remove them if you don't have ducks or chickens to eat them? Bringing someone else's chickens or ducks into the yard is not possible as it is a very tiny space and my neighbors would not appreciate it. I have started a new compost pile, but it will probably be invaded also. I am very careful to put any moist or soft materials inside the pile or at least put cardboard on top of it to help keep them from finding the new pile. I will probably be at this location for another year and would really like to have compost for my garden. I have never seen a compost pile disappear. It is quite amazing.