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 No crawl off but larvae are turning black 
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Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:59 am
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Post No crawl off but larvae are turning black
Good day all, I am new to BSF farming and I'd like to raise a colony to feed my chickens. I have been feeding my larvae chicken feed mixed with water. It's about 40% wet, feels like freshly cooked rice in terms of the moisture content. When I dig into the feed, I find my larvae are turning black and they are staying in the feed. I thought they're supposed to crawl off, what could be wrong? I have a lunch box I am using, that's where my larvae are and other larvae have been crawling out from there, so I know it's not too high. But my BSF larvae are just there, motionless. Should I make the feed more wet to encourage crawl off or should I just wait and let nature do its thing?


Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:15 am
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Post Re: No crawl off but larvae are turning black
sma87 welcome to our forum :) If you'd like you can introduce yourself here (link).

I think you're correct in that if the conditions are dry enough the larvae will stay put and pupate in your bin. In addition to adding water to the feed you could try misting the walls of your bin. The larvae use the surface tension of water to climb vertical surfaces.

Please post some pictures of your bin and have a look at other bins shown in the forum.

How To Add Videos and Pictures To Your Posts(link)

D-I-Y BSF Bioconversion Units (link)

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I Believe The Black Soldier Fly Has The Potential To Be A Beneficial Insect Second Only To Pollinating Bees


Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:41 pm
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Post Re: No crawl off but larvae are turning black
Thank you, It's good to be here. I started with an old container that had chicken feed fermenting, I mixed it with water and some beer we have here thats made from fermented maize so that it accelerates the process. After the larvae had grown a little, I put them into a lunchbox. Please see the links below. We had some rain last night and it got into the lunchbox, I found one larvae had crawled out. Let's see how it goes.
Feed + Substrate:
https://image.ibb.co/dYnxqL/IMG-20181114-090825.jpg
Image

Larvae:
https://image.ibb.co/kQfvc0/IMG-20181114-090724.jpg
Image

https://preview.ibb.co/ewYsPf/IMG-20181114-090808.jpg
Image

https://preview.ibb.co/ewYsPf/IMG-20181114-090808.jpg
Image

I will add more images when I get home, my system is very simple right now.


Last edited by BorealWormer on Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

Embed images



Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:04 am
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Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:59 am
Posts: 16
Post Re: No crawl off but larvae are turning black
Here are more pics of my current system. Like I said, it's all very DIY and I do not have many BSF larvae in there. I am planning on getting some saw dust tomorrow morning and moving them there. Can I mix the saw dust with mature compost and make it moist so they burrow in there? I am thinking, if this substrate starts to rot with them in there, that can't be good right?
As you can see, they're mostly black.
This is where I have my setup right now:
https://preview.ibb.co/f1ZVN0/IMG-20181119-134321.jpg
Image

The container holding the lunchbox the larvae are in, so that when they crawl off, they fall into it
https://image.ibb.co/mE6MUf/IMG-20181119-134336.jpg
Image

The lunchbox with the feed and larvae
https://image.ibb.co/kT76vL/IMG-20181119-134343.jpg
Image

The larvae
https://image.ibb.co/czxgvL/IMG-20181119-134422.jpg
Image

https://image.ibb.co/dmdbUf/IMG-20181119-134440.jpg
Image


Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:18 am
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Post Re: No crawl off but larvae are turning black
Thanks sam. For images to be embedded in your posts please use 'img' tags
Code:
[img]https://image.ibb.co/dmdbUf/IMG-20181119-134440.jpg[/img]
or upload them to the forum as detailed here:
How To Add Videos and Pictures To Your Posts(link)

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BorealWormer

I Believe The Black Soldier Fly Has The Potential To Be A Beneficial Insect Second Only To Pollinating Bees


Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:38 am
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Post Re: No crawl off but larvae are turning black
Most bins have a ramp to allow the mature prepupal larvae (the balck ones) to more easily crawl out and be collected. There are several designs shown in the D-I-Y BSF Bioconversion Units (link) section.

Where are you located?

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BorealWormer

I Believe The Black Soldier Fly Has The Potential To Be A Beneficial Insect Second Only To Pollinating Bees


Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:43 am
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Post Re: No crawl off but larvae are turning black
I am in Zambia, it's central southern Africa. Can I move the Larvae to a bin I have with worm castings mixed with wood shavings? The rain is upon us and I want to move them to another location around the house.
For the images, I did use the url tag, I wonder how come they have all popped up there. Hmmm. I'll do it right next time.


Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:25 pm
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Post Re: No crawl off but larvae are turning black
sam87 wrote:
I am in Zambia, it's central southern Africa.

If you have a wild population of BSF we would love to add your location to our Black Soldier Fly Mapping Project (link). See the Range and Identification section (link) for instructions.

Quote:
... Can I move the Larvae to a bin I have with worm castings mixed with wood shavings? The rain is upon us and I want to move them to another location around the house.
Yup. BSFL love worm castings but the can pose problems if they get into an worm bin. See Black Soldier Fly Larvae in Worm Bins (link)

Quote:
For the images, I did use the url tag, I wonder how come they have all popped up there. Hmmm. I'll do it right next time.
I edited your first couple of posts so the images would show.

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BorealWormer

I Believe The Black Soldier Fly Has The Potential To Be A Beneficial Insect Second Only To Pollinating Bees


Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:52 pm
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Post Re: No crawl off but larvae are turning black
Okay, I attracted them by using rotting fruit and veggies. So I guess we do have soldier flies in the wild. I'll do the needful. Thanks for your help. I'll keep us all posted on how this goes :)


Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:18 pm
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Post Re: No crawl off but larvae are turning black
sam87 wrote:
Can I move the Larvae to a bin I have with worm castings mixed with wood shavings?
Just a quick follow up - BSFL will not eat cellulose like wood shavings (or potato peels) while worms will.

Most times you'll see the 'frass' (BSFL castings) put into vermicomposters for further processing where any cellulose is consumed. This is also because 'worm castings' are more familiar to the general public and more easily sold at farmers markets and the like.

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BorealWormer

I Believe The Black Soldier Fly Has The Potential To Be A Beneficial Insect Second Only To Pollinating Bees


Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:46 pm
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Post Re: No crawl off but larvae are turning black
BorealWormer wrote:
sam87 wrote:
Can I move the Larvae to a bin I have with worm castings mixed with wood shavings?
Just a quick follow up - BSFL will not eat cellulose like wood shavings (or potato peels) while worms will.

Most times you'll see the 'frass' (BSFL castings) put into vermicomposters for further processing where any cellulose is consumed. This is also because 'worm castings' are more familiar to the general public and more easily sold at farmers markets and the like.


Understood. But right now I'm only trying to raise BSFL. So the bin only has BSFL in the worm castings. I guess I'll try some to raise some earthworms too for further processing, I'd love to have a little garden too.


Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:10 pm
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Post Re: No crawl off but larvae are turning black
After the rain stops this might be of interest to you:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/articl ... r-5.48465/

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BorealWormer

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Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:12 am
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