black soldier fly larvaeBlack Soldier Fly, White Magic

Harvey Ussery authored an article titled “Black Soldier Fly, White Magic” first published in Backyard Poultry Magazine

The article in the October/November 2009 issue fills 4 pages and includes photos of a BSF adult (from this site). In addition to my photos Harvey also used photos by Bonnie Long.

Harvey describes the basics of the BSF life cycle and how the BioPod is designed to take advantage of it. I’m happy to say that he directs his readers here for more information about this new and fascinating technology. Thank you Harvey, for a very well written article.

With Harvey’s permission I have published his article on this blog which can be found here or by clicking the link in the right hand column under Black Soldier Fly Pages.

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6 thoughts on “BSF article by Harvey Ussery

  • January 13, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Ok, here is a question that may be obvious to some, but I jus don’t know. Do animals like the BSF breed with their siblings? Or are they repelled like humans are?
    The reason I ask, is that if we try to encage them so that we can promote the propgation by having the mother and father in a cage through the entire cycle, wouldn’t we have a risk that the siblings would be the mother and father? Would that cause genetic issues like it would for humans?

    • January 13, 2010 at 11:14 pm

      Lee, I know nothing about genetics, insect or otherwise, but my guess is that insects can mate with siblings.

  • January 14, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    We all seem to be trying to grow the larve, but what are we using them for? Composting, feeding fish, chicken?

    I found out about the bsfl in researching aquaponics and using them as a source for the fish. Does anyone have a diybsflbiopod on top of a fish tank for the fish to eat the mature larve?

    • February 4, 2010 at 10:58 am

      Hi Lee,

      I would have responded sooner but I’ve been super busy.

      Besides the uses I’ve mentioned on this blog I’ll also be using BSF larvae to feed several Peacocks that my girlfriend is getting soon. The birds are mostly for fun but I hope to be able to harvest some eggs occasionally.

      One problem with a BSF unit on top of a fish tank is that it seems designed to feed the mature larvae to the fish. In my experience fish prefer the juvenile larvae. Another issue with mature larvae might be digestibility because of their tough, chitin rich “skin”. Unless the fish break a larva’s skin I think it would pass through undigested.

      Concerning BSF in checked baggage I believe they would survive almost all of the time. The temps in the luggage would need to reach freezing to kill them, lack of moisture takes a relatively long time to effect them, and in one study BSF larvae survived several thousand times the force of gravity in a centrifuge.

      “If left to wonder away from the biopod instead of capturing the mature larve in the container, how far will they wonder?”

      The current data that I’ve found states that mature BSF larvae can crawl up to 100 meters in search of good pupation site.

      “How deeply buried to the mature larve put themselves in the dry leaf area before they pupate. Do they dig down a foot? or just inches?”

      That’s a question I can’t answer. I suppose it varies with the environment that a particular BSF population lives in. Since they can’t survive freezing I assume that in colder areas they must dig down below the frost line. I’ve been told of BSF existing in some fairly cold places.

  • January 15, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Here is a totally off the wall question.
    Do you think the BSFL can survive in checked luggage in a flight? Considering air pressure, cold, dryness, etc?

  • January 22, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    I have another off the wall question.
    If left to wonder away from the biopod instead of capturing the mature larve in the container, how far will they wonder?

    One time, in one of the many spots that I had the biopod, I had my five gallon bucket on top of anther bucket to help manage the liquids. I just let the mature larve drop out the side through holes from my container. I figure I found dozens of the mature larve about 15 feet away under some pots that I had. This means they fell down two feet, crawled through a black garden pot at thebottom, wondered through the grass, and found this pot and decided “This is the spot”. Not just one here, but a dozen. Not just this one pot, but several other pots within that fifteen feet, had their own dozens.

    This prompts me to ask another question. How deeply buried to the mature larve put themselves in the dry leaf area before they pupate. Do they dig down a foot? or just inches?


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