Re: Need tips and hints on a DIY bin
Question 1: how much bread/veggie matter do you think a tote like this could handle on in a week?
Question 2: what size pvc do you normally use?
Question 3: I know that certain bugs are attracted to certain color (many like blues or yellows, bees attack black more then white, etc) Are there any colors that seem to attract that adults more?
Thanks for any input!
#1 A healthy, fully populated colony can easily consume one pound or more of moist food per square foot per day. But you have to grow your colony up to this pace. I've heard estimates as high as 2.5 pounds per sq ft per day, but frankly, I think these are optimistic. You want to add sufficient food so that it's fully consumed daily, but at the same time have enough to grow the population by attracting adult egg layers. Once you keep BSF, your own experience will enable you to regulate the feeding rate. Feed in the mornings so the food is available during the day to attract egg laying adults so you can augment your population. One thing's for sure - you can feed BSF WAY more food than you can a typical vermicomposting bin!
#2 Having built a bin like you describe, I would suggest instead an open bottom wooden bin with sloped sides on opposing long ends. I'd skip the PVC pipe style bin because frankly, they don't work very well. Crawl off rates are poor and drainage is always an issue. Pictures of this type bin I'm talking about are here: http://s283.photobucket.com/albums/kk306/tarvus33991/Bug%20Barracks/?start=all
This particular bin is like 14 to 15 square foot fully loaded. I think though that a 5 to 10 sq ft bin might yield better results. I seem to get a denser population in my 7 sq ft bin than the bigger ones. If you're dead set on the tote with PVC ramps, I would recommend at least 3" PVC.
#3 Yellow seems to attract the most adult flies. I had over 10,000 larvae escape inside my pool cage a couple of summers ago and had an enormous captive population. I had blue, red, purple and yellow plastic chairs arranged on the pool deck. The yellow chair was constantly covered with adult BSF. The others? Not so much.