Black Soldier Fly

Black Soldier Fly
Don't let it's wasp-like appearance fool you.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Let the games begin.

So today I woke up thinking about how to go about building my harvester. I looked at a few different DIY Black Soldier Fly growers/harvesters online, and decided to make my first attempt go the "budget route." Budget meaning free, being that I planned on building it out of scrap wood that is laying around the farm. I decided that best way to go was to build a miniature version of the Bug Barracks. So I went to work and had it all built in about 2 hours, minus the harvest hole and containers, because I lacked the proper tools at the time. To give you a good idea about construction times, I am an engineering student, so drawing designs is my cup of tea, but I come up short in the carpentry department. I figure anybody could probably put together a full size BSFL home in about 2-3 hours solo, and probably an hour or so with another set of hands. I decided to go ahead and keep things simple and just go for it with this prototype, and see if I can get a small colony going with it. If so, I plan to build one or more on a much larger scale. So far so good though, and I'll post pictures of the bug house as soon as I can.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

In the Beginning...

Hey, my name is Johnny and I live in Oklahoma with my wife Beth and daughter. We live on Beth's parent's land which includes a small farm which consists of a few hundred chickens, half a dozen goats, a handful of dogs, and whatever other wildlife that likes to roam around here. Today after lunch, my father-in-law and I were talking about his worm beds, that he was using for composting and using the castings for fertilizer in his vegetable garden. As we were talking about it, it kinda got my wheels turning in my brain about the commercial value of worms, being as I do a little bit of sales on Amazon to bring in extra money. (I work full time at a hospital while being a full-time engineering student and full-time husband/daddy.) This is when he told me to Google for Black Soldier Flies. Mike had been researching ways to efficiently deal with the large amount of manure generated by having chickens and found that BSF fit the bill, plus provides an ideal food source for the chickens as well. So being that I am a pretty big nerd, I spent the next four hours reading about Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL) and decided I was going to undertake the task of building a small BioPod like composter to attract some BSF females to lay eggs to start my colony. I just wanted to document the experience, because it seems like there is a community of people looking to start growing Black Soldier flies, plus I could gain the help of anyone who has any experience.. If you have any suggestions or comments feel free to let me know.