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 Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF 
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Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:26 pm
Posts: 66
Location: Hixson TN
Post Re: Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF
Jerry,
Thank you.
Quote:
to concentrate the waste
I will do that.

BW
Thank you for the link for temps. This will help greatly.

Today is going to be hotter then yesterday, so I moved my worm containers outside, which has some larvae but no BSF in it. I left Jerry's container in greenhouse with several traps all together. The BSF are fly everywhere. Yeah!!!!!


Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:23 pm
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:59 pm
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Location: Alberta Canada
Post Re: Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF
Robbie wrote:
... I left Jerry's container in greenhouse with several traps all together.
If you're not harvesting the eggs and just want to keep your BSFL bin population replenished it might be an idea to only have the egg trap that's inside the bin. Otherwise you're just making more work for yourself manually transferring the eggs to the bin.

Quote:
The BSF are fly everywhere. Yeah!!!!!
Looking forward to pictures!!!

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BorealWormer

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


Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:44 pm
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Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:26 am
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Location: southwest Florida
Post Re: Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF
BorealWormer wrote:

Maximum w/Survival: Larvae survive at temperatures up to 45 C (113 F). (1)



I captive bred a few years back in a greenhouse tent that would routinely hit daytime temps of 120-130F that lasted for many hours. I had no issues with die off of either larvae or adult BSF. (I did keep the bins on the ground, however.) I have also measured temps in the substrate of my outside bins of 125F. Again - no die off, though the larvae did appear agitated. I think they are far more hardy than we give them credit for!

Interestingly, the colony collapse issues I have periodically experienced happened at what would be considered ideal temps and conditions and always seem to coincide with grain mite infestations.


Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:41 pm
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Post Re: Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF
Thanks Tarvus. I was hoping you'd stop by as you've been in the 'hothouse' so to speak. Did you ever have any issues with BSF in your worm bins?

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BorealWormer

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Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:58 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:52 am
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Location: SW Florida
Post Re: Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF
Tarvus wrote:
Interestingly, the colony collapse issues I have periodically experienced happened at what would be considered ideal temps and conditions and always seem to coincide with grain mite infestations.

I am still trying to get up an running. Right now, I have a proliferation of little white bugs. Could these be grain mites, anif so, what can I do about it?


Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:08 am
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Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:26 am
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Location: southwest Florida
Post Re: Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF
BorealWormer wrote:
Thanks Tarvus. I was hoping you'd stop by as you've been in the 'hothouse' so to speak. Did you ever have any issues with BSF in your worm bins?


Worm bins are BSF magnets in my experience, BW. Having kept worms in both Georgia and Florida, I have never had a worm bin that did not attract BSF eventually. I feel they are actually beneficial for worms - churning food that is inedible by worms into smaller worm-consumable chunks inoculated with beneficial bacteria and susceptible to various fungae which is what the worms eat.

My initial BSF experience started with compost piles in which both worms and BSF thrived.


Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:49 am
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Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:26 pm
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Location: Hixson TN
Post Re: Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF
Thanks Tarvus
Quote:
I captive bred a few years back in a greenhouse tent that would routinely hit daytime temps of 120-130F that lasted for many hours.


That gives me a relief. Today was a good example. It got up to 110 for about 3 hours. We own two houses, one I groom dogs in and the green house is on the other side of the house we live in. I have a thermometer. There are many times I am not able to put my dog down to put a cover over the green house.


Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:32 pm
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Post Re: Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF
Tarvus wrote:
... Worm bins are BSF magnets ...
There's a line I'll be quoting, thanks :)

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Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:06 pm
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Post Re: Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF
Robbie what are your plans for the BSF bin over the summer? Since BSF seem to be native in your area the BSF bin could be moved outside in the shade to avoid over heating.

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Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:09 pm
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Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:26 pm
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Location: Hixson TN
Post Re: Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF
Quote:
It got up to 110 for about 3 hours.

I did have causalities. All of my grubs that had crawls of my gray tub (about 30) 3 weeks ago are dead. What is the life of a grub once its crawls out of a container?

Quote:
what are your plans for the BSF bin over the summer? Since BSF seem to be native in your area the BSF bin could be moved outside in the shade to avoid over heating.


My plans are to move everything outside. Last summer I had everything outside ( Compost 360 and my kitty litters, which are now in the big gray tub ).

Since I did not think the worms could handle the higher temp this past week, I pulled them outside but had to end up bring them back the last two night because it got down to 25 degree. Each time I moved them in and out I was afraid of losing some of my BSF, which I did. :( . The funny thing is I was able to capture some of them and get them back into the greenhouse. They would fly between the greenhouse and the cover and I used a broom handle to have them crawl on it then let them go back in the green house. :shock: My neighbors and friends call me a cowgirl. Because I trip an average 5-7 raccoons a summer by using dog cages. I have a friend who transports them to his 300 acres so they have freedom.
Speaking of raccoons. I know I wont have problems with the compost 360 or the grey tub. I thought with the Bio- compost I thought about putting it in a Dog cage that have. I am still not sure that the raccoons wont reach in and destroy it. Any suggestions?

I am hoping tonight to post photos. I have been busy with Taxes.


Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:45 pm
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Post Re: Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF
Robbie wrote:
Quote:
It got up to 110 for about 3 hours.

I did have causalities. All of my grubs that had crawls of my gray tub (about 30) 3 weeks ago are dead. What is the life of a grub once its crawls out of a container?
Are you sure they're not just pupating? Pupa will be mostly motionless and dark colored.

Quote:
... The funny thing is I was able to capture some of them and get them back into the greenhouse.
I do some of that for my indoor bin too :lol: Luckily BSF are pretty docile and can usually be found at the nearest window. Wandering larvae are another story.

Quote:
... Speaking of raccoons. I know I wont have problems with the compost 360 or the grey tub. I thought with the Bio- compost I thought about putting it in a Dog cage that have. I am still not sure that the raccoons wont reach in and destroy it. Any suggestions?
They're pretty good at getting into things, right? Jerry or Tarvus will have more experience with this so hopefully can give advice.

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


Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:05 pm
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Post Re: Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF
I agree with BW that the "dead" larvae may just be pupating. BSF larvae are pretty hardy creatures...

There are plenty of racoons where I keep my composters, but I haven't had a problems with the coons getting into them. I did have issues with the coons raiding some nearby buckets of pupating larvae though. To get to the buckets they had to practically climb over the composters.

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*I'm not an entomologist, and much of what I write about BSF is an educated guess.


Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:36 pm
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Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:26 pm
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Location: Hixson TN
Post Re: Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF
Wow I have never tried to add a photo to a forum. I must be doing something wrong. I took me forever to get it reduce to the right size. Any help is greatly accepted.


Attachments:
File comment: 360 composter and kitty Litter composter 2/4/14
20140204_171426.jpg
20140204_171426.jpg [ 252.61 KiB | Viewed 11801 times ]
Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:24 pm
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Post Re: Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF
Adjust the photo size. Hope it is not as big as the last one.


Attachments:
File comment: New Bio-composter and Kitty Litter combine into a big grey tub. 3/7/14
20140307_084603.jpg
20140307_084603.jpg [ 34.04 KiB | Viewed 11801 times ]
Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:30 pm
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Post Re: Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF
Both photos look fine, thanks for posting them.

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BorealWormer

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


Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:46 pm
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Post Re: Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF
I like big photos... :mrgreen:

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*I'm not an entomologist, and much of what I write about BSF is an educated guess.


Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:57 am
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Location: Hixson TN
Post Re: Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF
Just an update.
I have not seen any eggs but they must be somewhere, because I have a lot of baby BSF larvae in both the grey tub and the Bio composter.

Quote:
I agree with BW that the "dead" larvae may just be pupating. BSF larvae are pretty hardy creatures...

I have only seen one move around, however I am getting new BSF , which could be from the grey tub.

I can't wait till the weather stays at a good temp. :roll:


Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:33 pm
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Post Re: Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF
Robbie, the pupating larvae look pretty similar to the active mature (dark) larvae, except they're straight, and they don't move.

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*I'm not an entomologist, and much of what I write about BSF is an educated guess.


Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:10 pm
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Post Re: Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF
Well, I think I am in my next stage with the green house. I moved the grey tub out to the concrete slab by the green house. It is the one that is really smelly. It is loaded with gnats. I need to turn it and get is so it can drain. I also took out the 360 worm composter and all my plants for our yard. I am leaving my ginger plant in the green house because BSF are really enjoying resting on them.

Now here is my question. The grey tub is to mainly be for worms. When getting ready to turn the grey tub, I noticed on the papers that I use to cover, I found these things see photo below. Are these BSF eggs? or Gnats eggs?


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File comment: BSF Eggs ?
BSF eggs maybe.jpg
BSF eggs maybe.jpg [ 212.25 KiB | Viewed 11490 times ]
Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:06 pm
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Post Re: Greenhouse, Red-worms and BSF
Update:
A lot has happened. I will post photos at the end.
1. My grey tub got to heavy and hard to work with in the greenhouse and unable to flush because of size and the worms in it. So I went back to the Kitty Litter Container (KLC for short)
2. BSF were hatching a lot in the KLC. It went from 5 BSF to 50-100 Doing great.
3. In May the temp was rising in the greenhouse up to 120°. I tried all different ways to cool it off. even to the point of breaking a panel of the greenhouse and screen it in. Temp still stayed at about 105°.
4. Pulled all grubs out of the KLC and put them in the Bio-Composter and then empty the KLC into the 360 for the worms to combined the worms.
5. All that remained in the green house was the Bio-Composter with lot of BSF.
6. Temp at 105° during the daily and me flushing the Bio-Composter, the greenhouse smelled and the BSF # were dropping down to about 10.
7. I could not stand the smell, I turned the screened porch into the new home for the BSF. "Fresh air" with the temp staying at around 85° day and 65° nights.
8. I captured all the BSF in the greenhouse and released them in the Screened Porch (SP). about 10. Funny even 2 weeks later I went into the green house and found a few more BSF.
9. The Bio-composter is doing great. I have enough grubs that I was about to introduce chicken bones. Boy did they enjoy that.


Sat May 31, 2014 4:16 pm
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