We have discontinued starter kits for the foreseeable future. I’ll keep this post available for any information that might be useful

This year our starter kit contains 3000 black soldier fly eggs in the hatchery pictured above, and 1000 larvae of various sizes. For the price we’re asking, that represents an excellent value in terms of the number of BSF. I also believe that combining eggs, juvenile larvae, and mature larvae is a more effective strategy for jump starting a BSF unit than a juvenile larvae-only kit. We have a page with a full description of the kit including pricing and shipping options which you can navigate to from the right sidebar or by clicking HERE.

Update: Since we now have a discussion forum we will be disabling comments here on the blog. Anyone can read the forum, but to join in on the conversation you will need to register. This is an easy and painless process, and it’s necessary to keep spammers from, well, spamming up the place. :)

The forum can be accessed here (forum) and you will see a link for registration in the upper left corner of the forum. The legal language on the registration form is very basic and is what came with the forum software. In short, we won’t share your information, and please don’t be vulgar or break the law. 😉

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3 thoughts on “multi-stage bsf starter kit update

  • June 20, 2010 at 11:14 pm
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    Hi Jerry – thanks for the kits, they were packaged really well and helped me jumpstart my second bin. It’s been a couple of weeks now and it’s going geometric in both bins – the big black ones from Home Depot – and in the BioPod as well. I’m using a diferent technique that’s a bit messy but not too bad if I’m careful. I’m letting the crawl-off from the DIY bins occur out the bottom corner where I drilled a 2 inch hole and covered it with hardware cloth (heavy wire with half-inch holes). Drainage occurs through it as well – the bin is on blocks and is tilted – and the grubs that crawl off are mucking around in the catch pail in the morning in the liquid sludge. This morning was a bumper crop, maybe 2 cups worth from one of the bins. The chickens went crazy over them. I have a 60 gallon container that I use to keep the compost tea after straining the grubs from the pail. It gets alot of rinse water in it as well from cleaning the grubs prior to feeding. Saw my first female maiden flight yesterday after she crawled up out of a bin full of leaves where I put alot of the mature grubs. She took awhile to get her wings straightened out and then flew about 15 feet and hung out on the ground for a long time before leaving. I think I saw a male the other day and he looked a bit different than the female. He landed near a female and in a few seconds decided to chase her. Do you have any pictures of males? I think I figured out how to manage the temperature. I was hosing down one of my bins when it hit 109 degrees in the bin and the grubs were writhing manaically one afternoon. I did this a few times last week when it was hitting 100 degrees ambient but it didn’t seem like something I’d want to do all summer. So, after splitting about 1/3 of the bin into the other one where I’d put the starter kit(s) grubs and eggs I started layering some coir crumbles on top of each feeding. It may be too early to tell but there seems to be some insulative property as well as the fact that it helps create a really nice crumbly compost. I like the brick coir much better than the planter mat coir material. It doesn’t seem to matter much that there’s liquid here and there around the bins and on the strainers and pails. The females check it out but end up in the bins to lay their eggs. Since the top is off most of the time I’ve had the opportunity to watch them decide where to lay and have found they like to lay in the indented part of an egg carton (paper kind). When I have the top covered with shade cloth they like to lay up there as well and I end up cutting out where they layed and taping it on the inside wall of the bin. It is really something to see the surface inside the bin moving or lift a slice of apple or an avacado skin and have gobs of grubs working the underside. I saw one cluster of very small grubs that was not intermingled with different sizes which was a first-time observation. Maybe she layed them right on the surface on a banana peel or something and they all stuck together as they grew? Sure is fun and it’s only taken a month to get to the point where I’m confident enough to harvest a bunch for the chickens without breaking the cycle. keep up the good work and thanks again!

    • June 21, 2010 at 5:48 pm
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      Hi John,

      Thanks for the feedback.

      There are a lot of strategies you can use when designing a BSF unit and I’m glad more people are testing different designs. I have no doubt your chickens love the BSF; we have 3 peacocks that mostly live in the yard and they practically stalk me because I throw them some BSF most days. :)

      ‘I think I saw a male the other day and he looked a bit different than the female. He landed near a female and in a few seconds decided to chase her. Do you have any pictures of males?’

      I haven’t noticed a difference in the BSF adults I’ve seen, but I haven’t really looked for any. If there is a difference it’s subtle.

      ‘When I have the top covered with shade cloth they like to lay up there as well and I end up cutting out where they layed and taping it on the inside wall of the bin.’

      If the shade cloth is above the waste you don’t really need to tape it to the side; when the larvae hatch after about 4 days they will find their way to the food, especially if they’re directly above it.

      ‘I saw one cluster of very small grubs that was not intermingled with different sizes which was a first-time observation. Maybe she layed them right on the surface on a banana peel or something and they all stuck together as they grew?’

      Sometimes the females will lay on a fruit or vegetable peel or skin. I think you’re right that this is what happened that resulted in the group of hatchlings.

      Sure is fun and it’s only taken a month to get to the point where I’m confident enough to harvest a bunch for the chickens without breaking the cycle.

      It’s a pretty amazing hobby isn’t it?

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