Lately I’ve been inconsistent with responses to emails and comments, and I would like to explain.

Currently there are several health issues that my family is dealing with and it has taken my focus off of this blog to a large extent. I stopped raising BSF for starter kits a few months ago for the same reason. I’ve been spending a lot of time traveling in order to help various family members and I couldn’t maintain the larvae needed to supply the kits. I also have some videos waiting to be published that are about my DIY bucket composter. The most I’ve been able to accomplish lately is to approve comments made on various posts here and to make some related responses.

If you’ve sent me an email or posted a comment and I haven’t responded please forgive me. Staying focused has always been a challenge for me, but under the current circumstances I know that I’m not maintaining the blog properly. Sooner or later I’ll find the time and energy to give this blog the attention it deserves. I love working with BSF, sharing my experiences, and helping people start their own colonies, and I will give it more time when things settle down a bit.

Thanks,

Jerry

UPDATE – Jan, 9 – Well, 2010 was a very busy and eventful year for me. Hopefully this year will allow me more time to work with BSF and to blog about it. I’m starting a BSF consulting project and I will be blogging about the progress here and at the website of the people hosting the project. This is the first time I’ve worked with a commercial system and I’m sure there will be a lot of interesting tests and results.

22 thoughts on “BSF blog update

  • September 3, 2010 at 8:31 pm
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    Jerry,

    Hang in there and this too shall pass. Good luck with the stuff that you are going through also. I have some questions, but I will wait until you are back and just keep an eye on what I have developing for now.

    • September 3, 2010 at 8:49 pm
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      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for being so considerate, but please feel free to ask any question. Some questions are easy and may be a nice distraction. Also some of the regular readers may be able to answer your question for me. I’m beginning to see a good group of folks posting comments here and as soon as I can manage it I plan on starting a forum here. That would facilitate a better exchange of information I think. Until then I won’t be bothered by questions, I just may or may not get to them as quickly as I normally would.

  • September 3, 2010 at 9:12 pm
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    Okay well I am not exactly sure it is a question you can answer but here goes. I live in Southeast Virginia, pretty warm and pretty humid most of the time. I put a bucket out about a week or so ago and put some old cornmeal and a bit of dog food and some water. It has a pretty good smell when I open it and I have seen some larvae crawling around. What are the chances that these are BSF larvae and is there a way to be sure other than waiting?

  • September 4, 2010 at 1:09 am
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    I live in South Georgia and am very successful at raising BSF larvae using rabbit manure, waste hay, and waste rabbit feed. The harvested larvae are purged by feeding used coffee grounds for a few days to the BSF before being fed to my fish.

  • September 4, 2010 at 10:57 am
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    Jerry, I hope things are going better for you and your family. Even though you may not be able to respond as quickly as you would like you are still doing an excellent job with this blog and it serves as a great resource for all. Just a quick update from Ohio…I bought some phoenix worms as it was unable to attract a wild population and the entomologists were unable to tell me about any wild population. I put some in the bucket (refresher for you: I based mine off your 2.1 but added a bottom drain with gravel and wire mesh in the bottom of the bucket and I also used an old garden hose to make a ramp going up the bucket) outside and also have been feeding some in my basement. I didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket in case I did something wrong outside. Both populations are doing well. I am just waiting to get some big larvae so I can move them to a pupation container I made for them to help ensure a continuous re-population. We’ll see how things go. I’ll keep you updated when things actually start to happen! Thanks again for all your help and stay strong!

  • September 9, 2010 at 8:44 am
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    Has anyone been able to successfully start a colony in central Ohio? We live in Plain City which is NW from Columbus.

  • September 9, 2010 at 11:49 am
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    Sam – I live in Columbus and tried to attract a wild population for about a month. I even contacted the entomologists at OSU and they were unaware of any native population. I ended up purchasing Phoenix Worms online and have been nursing those in attempts to get a decent colony going. I have not gotten any bigger larvae yet and none have self-harvested in the system I built. Hopefully once they do pupate my population will increase exponentially.

  • September 9, 2010 at 1:32 pm
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    Thanks Stephen. I thought Columbus would be too far north. I’m interested in learning how your PW project goes. We want to start raising free range chickens and like the idea of feeding them with a renewable protein source.

  • September 11, 2010 at 9:43 pm
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    I have a large quantity of BSF larvae pre-packaged for sale or bulk. I can be contacted either through lagamorphfarms(at*)gmail.com or 1-229-450-3932. I plan to raise the BSF year round.

    *Admin edit: I changed the email address to protect it from spambots; substitue @ for at.

  • September 12, 2010 at 3:27 pm
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    It’s a bummer to hear about your current issues, but I wish you luck with all of them. On another note, I recently set up my 2nd bucket in attempt to did what you first did, find out how many BSF adults I can attract and lay eggs. The first time was in spring with soured dry corn, it attracted some females but almost all did not stay longer than a few minutes. 2 weeks later the bucket was infested with fruit fly larvae, the experiment failed. But this fall I’ve noticed many adults buzzing around the wet chicken mash whenever I feed my duck. So yesterday I got out a five gallon bucket and lid, tossed in some old and fresh wet chicken mash, bananas, and papaer towel along with several peices of corrugated cardboard. (The cardboard is what I left out the first time) Within that day I witnessed around 8 different BSF adults within the area, and 2 confirmed egg masses. Today, I confirmed 5 NEW egg masses. Turns out BSF are more common in FL than I presumed. The problem? Some of the eggs are laid in the cardboard, while others on the banana peels. This morning I had found a good 200 fruit flies in the bucket. And now I’m worried the fruit flies will once again overwhelm the bucket and eat the eggs. I’ve seen 2 maggots so far. But now I know there are BSF eggs masses in the bucket, unlike last time. Will the BSF eggs hatch fast enough? Or will the fruit flies find them all?

    Thanks in advance – Jon

  • September 20, 2010 at 11:25 pm
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    Would the English gentlemen who contacted me via phone please call me back. We had a pre-arranged call back, but I have not been able to reach him nor have I heard from him since.

  • September 30, 2010 at 11:27 am
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    Jerry, best of luck to you and your family. We’ve got a BSF community in a bio-pod and in my 1,000 sq ft composting bin operation in Decatur, GA.
    Your blog has been SO helpful.

    Best to your family

  • September 30, 2010 at 1:58 pm
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    Hi Sam and Stephen in Ohio,

    I wouldn’t be shocked to find BSF in the Columbus area; I’ve seen photos of BSF from a Champagne IL compost heap. Naturally it’s better if you’re in zone 6 as opposed to 5, but I still wouldn’t rule them out. The best way find if they’re in you’re area I recommend checking with local people who compost and also anyone who stores grain or feed. BSF commonly populate bags of feed that have gotten wet and been torn.

  • October 10, 2010 at 10:36 pm
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    Re: scott in decatur, GA.

    I also am in decatur and would like to learn more about bsf. I am the gardener at Oakhurst Community Garden Project and would love to establish some colonies.

    Please contact me: dballard423@gmail.com

  • October 23, 2010 at 6:12 am
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    I am a teacher in Missouri and my students have noticed larvae in our class compost bin. That larvae has now turned into bsf. We don’t mind them but any suggestions on what we can learn from them if the colony stays (other than life cycles)? Can we harvest them for any purposes? We are just now able to identify what we have and are looking forward to the new research. Please contact us through our class compost blog at: http://26compost.weebly.com/

  • December 14, 2010 at 7:23 pm
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    Jerry –

    I hope all is well with your family. I had a couple questions regarding the BSF not related to producing larvae for my fish. I have read in several places about the BSF excreting a chemical that acts as a deterrent to other flies. I was wondering if you (or anyone that reads this) had any knowledge on the subject. Also, the map of the US with the different zones that correspond to climate and which ones BSF are endemic. Do you know of a global map that would indicate BSF populations? I am working with some international folks on veterinary issues (I’m a veterinary medicine student) and I am interested in learning more about BSF and the climate in which they thrive in an international setting.

    Thanks as always for the information!

  • January 19, 2011 at 1:40 pm
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    Jerry just noticed your Jan, 9 update

    Well, 2010 was a very busy and eventful year for me. Hopefully this year will allow me more time to work with BSF and to blog about it. I’m starting a BSF consulting project and I will be blogging about the progress here and at the website of the people hosting the project. This is the first time I’ve worked with a commercial system and I’m sure there will be a lot of interesting tests and results.

    Looking forward to hearing more about this consulting project/commercial system. I hope 2011 is a much better year for you.

  • January 19, 2011 at 6:10 pm
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    Question at the bottom!!

    First of all, Jerry, glad to see you’re (sort of) back. I’ve enjoyed your work and insights.
    I’m in Decatur (atlanta metro) GA and despite the ice/snow, i was turning compost yesterday and found dormant BSF in the warmer part of my piles.
    I compost (sort of windrow style) with restaurant trimmings, spent grains (from a brewery), coffee grounds (three coffee shops) and black dirt (sort of semi mulched) from County landfill.
    I had GREAT success last summer with BSF and was worried about having to start anew in 2011.
    BUT, the warmest parts of my piles (now only around 85-90 farenheit) are loaded with dormant adult larvae. They move ever so slowly when disturbed, so i’m hopeful about their condition.
    Here’s my question: Should i stop aerating in the winter in order to keep the dormant larvae alive and dormant?
    I’m thinking if i can start april/may with lots of the attracting tea/effluent then i’ll hit the ground running.
    My chickens really miss the daily grub fest.

  • January 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm
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    That’s awesome, Madganz! Sounds like you’re feeding them the perfect diet!

    I used to live in Decatur, then later moved to Virginia Highlands (Greenwood Ave – 600 steps from the Dark Horse Tavern going and 900 steps walking home!) I worked in Decatur at the 2 Decatur Town Center across from the Holiday Inn for a number of years. Decatur is a great town. Do they still have live music Wednesdays at noon at the town center?

    About your question: please allow me to throw in my 2 cents worth as a former resident of the area…

    You still have a lot of winter ahead of you. I would leave the compost piles undisturbed if you want to keep the population going and get an earlier emergence in the spring. If you choose instead to aerate the pile, you’ll still get BSF in the season, but perhaps later than otherwise if the over-wintering grubs die.

    I figure you’re getting your coffee grounds from the Starbucks there in Decatur. Out of curiosity, where are you getting your spent brewery grain? (I used to homebrew and frequented a lot of the brew pubs in the Atlanta metro area when I lived there. My first experience with BSF larvae was a result of them appearing in my spent brewing grains in my compost pile).

  • January 20, 2011 at 10:35 pm
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    HI Madganz,

    What a great opportunity you have. I agree with Brian. I hope to hear about your progress this spring and summer.

    I’m going to start a BSF forum soon and it would be great if you shared your experience with us.

Comments are closed.