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 Indoor Co-op BSF Project 
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Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:45 am
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Post Indoor Co-op BSF Project
This topic was split off from the Scientific Trial in Scotland @ Salmon Farms topic (link)
BW


Hello StVitus,

I am looking to set up a small food recycling project down in London based on BSF. I am hopefully going to be able to recycle the waste fruit and veg form a co-op fruit and veg and co-op kitchen down where I live and feed the BSFL to help cut down on their costs and carbon footprints and hopefully feed chickens from another co-op project. I have been searching around the internet for a little while now but only stumbled on this (fantastic :D ) blog last week and your particular thread just a few days ago.

As you are the only person I have found openly talking about your project based in the UK I am hoping you could give me some further incite it to what issues and solutions you have come across to help smooth my transition into trying this. My main concern is the BSF cage and lights, but form the looks of things you have got that well covered.

I look forward to any response

cheers Travelfool

p.s. this forum has some invaluable information, so thank you all

p.p.s. hello everyone else :)


Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:06 pm
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Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:55 pm
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Location: Stirling, Scotland
Post Re: Scientific Trial in Scotland @ Salmon Farms
Hello Travelfool,
welcome to the blog. Yes, thank you. Things have been going well. I met with the salmon company up in Strome, last week and they are still very keen. I can't share all of their sensitive info but all looks promising. I have a meeting in Glenrothes tomorrow to finalise the system design and order a couple of units. We are then looking at 6 weeks until delivery to the trial site, which will actually now be in Torridon. We will also get some proximate analysis done on the grubs, including fatty acid profiles which I think might be interesting for everyone here.

I don't think you will have any problem with breeding your flies in London. The main thing seems to be having a good light which also provides the heat. I have been using a Phillips CDM-T 35W Cool-white bulb and it is working well. You will also need the ballast and holder for it which I got from here:

http://www.nationallampsandcomponents.c ... 7/179/3853

I spoke to Chris Stigwood there, who was very helpful with the set up. The wiring isn't immediately obvious.

Like lots of people on this thread, I have been using a large storage box to keep my flies in. If you follow the thread here you will see some of the problems I have had and the excellent advice from other members in overcoming them.

I cut a hole with a Stanley knife and put a tile in to attach the bulb fitting and also the ballast on the outside. I used an old jar to enclose the bulb to stop the flies burning themselves, by bolting the lid of the jar to the tile. The glass part can then just be screwed on to the lid to cover the bulb.

I would say to make sure that if you want to commercialise any of your production, you will need to make sure you meet the EU regs given by EC 1069/2009. I had to go through some lengthy discussions with the FSA before the trial could go ahead. I think things will become more relaxed in the future, though.

Best wishes,
Richard.


Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:55 am
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Post Re: Scientific Trial in Scotland @ Salmon Farms
Hello Richard,

Thank you for you response. I have been up and down and all over this forum for ideas. I am hopefully going 'dip my toe in the pond' in the next coming weeks and will deferentially be attempting to replicate your system. Do you have any idea, on average, how many egg clusters you are getting for the number of adult flies?

Thank you again


Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:07 pm
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Post Re: Scientific Trial in Scotland @ Salmon Farms
Hello,
that's a little bit difficult to say for certain because they don't always follow the script and lay their eggs in other places apart from the cardboard too, e.g. in the crevice around the top of the waste bucket. When I had about 30 or so adults, at the time of the photo that I posted, I was witnessing at least 3 matings per day, but of course I wasn't watching them 24 hrs per day. Certainly there is enough production and I have too many grubs just now. I put in about 2 kg of waste feed in the morning on Monday and it was just about all gone by the evening! :shock:

I went to see the glass fibre design company that we are commissioning to make our prototype vessels yesterday. We have a final design now and are sorting out the finance to get it built. We are hoping that this will be by the end of March... otherwise, they will be taking over my kitchen! I am going to buy another storage box asap because the one I have is over capacity. I will then have one for the breeding and one for the food waste, similar to what we hope to have at the salmon farm.
cheers,
R.


Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:55 am
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Post Re: Scientific Trial in Scotland @ Salmon Farms
Hello guys,

Have been busy moving home (and country) over the past weeks so this project was on the back burner. Hopefully now I can get into full swing!

StVitus wrote:
There is room to approach the EU via the European Food Safety Authority to propose changes or derogations on the regulations....I have the full regulations if you want them. In the true traditions of European bureaucracy, it is not a fascinating read.

StVitus do you mind sending me this link, would be interested in the reading. Also do you have any natural light reaching the breading box or is it all from the bulb only? I have found a few websites to purchase BSFL from but was wondering where you got yours?

BorealWormer thank you for the link and ALL you information on this Forum and the many other postings I have found from you on the web :D

Lastly, a question to all out there. Does anybody have any data/infomation regarding CO2 levels that the BSF and BSFL can tolerate/live best in (as guessing the same as outside on a sunny day for the latter).

Thank you,

Travelfool


Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:19 am
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Location: Stirling, Scotland
Post Re: Indoor Co-op BSF Project
Hello all,
here are the links to the EU regs.

This is the main document which lays down what can and cannot be done with various animal by-products. Processing and catering waste BPs are category 3. Dead animals (fallen stock) from farming are category 2.

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/Lex ... 033:EN:PDF

This document gives specific conditions for further processing and disposal of BPs mentioned in 1069/2009 above and is consequently much bigger:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/Lex ... 254:EN:PDF

Further clarification in the UK can be sort from the FSA or from AHVLA, but they may also confuse the matter in my experience!

Best wishes,
Richard.


Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:28 pm
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Post Re: Indoor Co-op BSF Project
Thank you StVitus,

Hope all is going well up there!


Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:30 am
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Post Re: Indoor Co-op BSF Project
Howdy StVitus,

have seen a few time in my reading about how much protein you should be feeding the BSFL, but could not find it again until I re-stumbled on this...I know there are no facts but maybe you could ask the author where they got their info (although it seems they have got at least some of their info from this forum jugging by the pictures)

http://www.themodernhomestead.us/articl ... r+Fly.html


Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:24 pm
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Post Re: Indoor Co-op BSF Project
p.s. anyone out there got info on BSF & BSFL CO2 levels?

Thanks


Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:26 pm
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Post Re: Indoor Co-op BSF Project
Travelfool wrote:
... (although it seems they have got at least some of their info from this forum jugging by the pictures)

http://www.themodernhomestead.us/articl ... r+Fly.html

He's friend of the site:
http://blacksoldierflyblog.com/2009/10/ ... ey-ussery/

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Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:00 pm
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Post Re: Indoor Co-op BSF Project
Hi Travelfool,
CO2 data for BSF, as of now, is not reported upon & it would change with their diet; the carbon ratio in their feed is a variable. For example when feeding on different animal manures those manures have different carbon vs. nitrogen composition & when larvae analyzed their composition shows different percentages of the same amino acids & fat chains.
IF the BSF larvae were fed mostly on vegetable scraps (as opposed to mostly manure) then I think the closest CO2 comparison would be the mealworm's equivalent of 7.58 (+/- 2.29) grams of CO2 produced to make 1 Kg. of mealworm larvae (if looking for comparison rearing beef entails +/- 2,850 gr. CO2 produced/Kg cow weight). Again, for mealworm larvae, this daily works out to the equivalent in grams of CO2 to be +/- 0.5 grams CO2 for every Kg. of mass the larvae put on in a single 24 hour period (if looking for comparison rearing beef entails +/- 6 - 7 gr. in terms of CO2/Kg. gain in a day).


Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:17 pm
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Post Re: Indoor Co-op BSF Project
Hello All,

I have now had my system up and running from the 2nd of May. I ordered 250 small and 250 large BSFL (but got more like 1000+ :D). I have been feeding them in my feeding tub [pic 1] solely on veg and fruit pulp from smoothies and juices made in the co-op kitchen.

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Around the 10-12th I started to get some small scale self harvesting and by the 20th I placed about 350 pre-pupa into my breeding box [pic 2].

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I got my first BSF on the 23rd [pic 3] and since then I have now had around 30-35 adults emerging.

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My set-up is nearly made fully from recycled and/or reclaimed materials (but I did have to buy quite a lot of tape). It is fully indoors – although in the side extension which is not that amazingly constructed. Since I have had the BSFL the outside temp has ranged from 2 C (some night times) up to 28 C (some sunny days) and everything in-between (got to love the British weather).

My feeding tub is a 45 ltr plastic box (tote) with Velcro around the top and a single right-angle drainage bend at one end for self harvesting. Below this I have 'ruffed up' the wall with sandpaper. The box (except for the end with with the exit) is surround by insulation. Temperatures in the feeding bin have stayed fairly constant around 20 C but falling to 12 C on cold nights and up to the mid/ high twenties on warm days. I only feed the BSFL small amounts about 3-5 times a day and as such have a pretty good substrate consistency (cow-pat like) with very little or no smell. I also rake it gently 1-2 times a day.

My breeding box is 120cm high by 45x45cm square and is made of fire retardant insulation board. It is fully enclosed with no natural sunlight, apart from when I remove the front panel to check/add/remove stuff. The bottom 30 cm is closed off for placing eggs (hopefully) and pre-pupa. I am using the same bulb as StVitus with a automated 12 hour on/off cycle from 6am-6pm. I have a reptile heat mat under a glass panel for alternative heating for when the bulb is off. The temp is fairly constant at 33-35C during the day and 28-29C during the night. I have a small humidifier (the kind one might use in a car) but this is only on when I turn it on. It flooded the bottom of the cage slightly a couple of times when left on for a long time and I noticed the adults sometime got stuck on their back in the very small puddle.

I know I need better control of the humidifier but I haven't noticed any adults (well one actually) with deformed wings so I am thinking that might be acceptable for now.

I am using both cardboard and plastic egg traps above; tea bags/ UCG/ a banana skin and some orange peel place in a take-away box [can be seen in pic 1]. My next step was to use a large walled box so the egg traps are slightly higher up.

But as you guessed it, I am having some problems.

1/ I have no breading or egg laying as yet :(. I was going to be more patient and try some more combos but issue 2 lent me to writing this whole thing in the first place. Any tips/tricks would be handy.

2/ 3 days ago I notices some small white mites in the feeding bin. What the best course of action, am thinking more BSFL?

3/ I am only getting about 1/3 success rate from the 'self harvesting' system in the feeding bin. The other 2/3 I have had to manually remove (laborious and boring). I believe the feed is wet enough [pic 4], and the 1/3 that do migrate have no issues climbing out. I have no drainage system as I am feeding the BSFL carefully not to get anaerobic conditions and as such I do not want to flood the system.

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Any suggestions on the above please.

Kindly

Travelfool


Last edited by BorealWormer on Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

Place pics inline



Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:13 am
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Post Re: Indoor Co-op BSF Project
the pics are in reverse order!

and i forgot to say thank you grinogjay for the feedback - thanks :)


Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:14 am
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Post Re: Indoor Co-op BSF Project
Hi TF. I had to wait quite a while before I saw any breeding in my indoor system too. Not sure what to say except to be patient. The BSF may be laying their eggs where you can't see them too. Are you seeing any mating behavior (flies jousting or fighting)?

Humidity wise I only lightly spray the interior walls of my bin once or twice daily. As you saw some BSF seem to drown in standing water. That said I don't know that excess humidity would cause breeding problems.

I'm estimating that I have about 3000 larvae in my small system and have only feed them 6 grams daily on average over the last year.

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Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:59 am
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Post Re: Indoor Co-op BSF Project
Hello BW,

Thanks for the swift reply. When I had about 20 odd flies there seemed to some amount of 'areal combat' but mainly just flying around.

Any advice on the mites?

Thanks

TF


Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:55 pm
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Post Re: Indoor Co-op BSF Project
Travelfool wrote:
...Thanks for the swift reply. When I had about 20 odd flies there seemed to some amount of 'areal combat' but mainly just flying around.
It's possible that one sex is hatching out early and you're seeing territorial displays. I was seeing the same (link)



Quote:
... Any advice on the mites?
I have a few little critters crawling around in my bin but they're no bother. It's a mini-ecosystem so I'm not worried about it. In a worm bin mites are sometimes associated with wet conditions.

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Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:18 pm
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Post Re: Indoor Co-op BSF Project
Hi Travelfool,
No mating despite acceptable humidity, temperature, hydration & light intensity has been on my mind. I have had what are fine conditions & over a period of 14 days my large BSF population have never been seen mating, nor are any eggs at all to be found.
Elsewhere in the Forum I postulated that it is the angle of light spectra striking the females eye reflecting upward to males' eyes that attracts the male to initiate copulation. Which I proposed is why mating predominately occurs at times of the day when the angle of incidence to the female's eyes is low.
My BSF were enclosed in a white mosquito net on a top floor's open air balcony. The height was 72 inches (183cm), the width facing the sun (& partial shade) was 47 inches (119cm) & the depth from the front receiving western sun going to a wall at the back was 32 inches (81cm).
Measured from the top of the enclosure where it faces the sun to the bottom where it runs out of depth against the balcony wall is linearly almost 72 inches. I have not calculated the exact angle but it would be like a triangle a just under 3 feet at it's base, rising 6 feet with a diagonal of 6 feet. The farthest any female eye while it was receiving direct sun light could get from any male would be at that angle.
The other 2 sides exposes to light faced south & north & there the angle would be different. However, at this time of the year on that balcony the south side of the enclosure is still in the shade until sometime after noon & north side gets no direct sunshine.I mention this because mating data commonly cites copulation generally happens by 11:00 once light intensity adequate.
What I have come to infer is that the males, being about 6 feet up, could not receive spectra of reflected light from any female eyes below them. This was because there was not sufficient measurable depth within the enclosure to give enough of an angle for the light that bounced off the females eyes to go where the males were lekking above.
In other words, the enclosure dimension was too narrow & at the minimum required more depth; I have no impression the width facing the sun or the height they could hang out at were unlivable. It does appear the lack of depth did not allow the males to "stand off", so to speak, from only being able to hover too closely "over" the females for the males' eyes intercepting the mating signal spectra of reflected light.
BorealWormer indicates his enclosed mating is progressing & if his flies have a greater angle for the light to reflect from below upward than my own described situation then maybe Travelfool your mating enclosure needs to be more ample across. On the other hand, if BorealWormer gets mating in a narrow space I am at a loss to explain my lack of mating; which would make my explanation to you here & myself off the mark.


Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:11 am
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Post Re: Indoor Co-op BSF Project
gringojay wrote:
... On the other hand, if BorealWormer gets mating in a narrow space
My bin is a 53 Litre storage tote (58.4cm x 41.3cm x 31.4cm LxWxH). The light comes from above in the winter when artificial lighting is used and from the side in the summer when it's in a sunny window.

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Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:34 am
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Post Re: Indoor Co-op BSF Project
Thanks BorealWormer,
Our relative proportions for the enclosure are different. I've 5.8 x greater height relative to only 1.4 x greater sun facing exposure (I called my fabric's width what is your bin's lengthy side, which presumably is facing your window) & then I've 2.9 x greater depth off from the sun (what'd be your bin's width).
Although it seems improbable the different ratios of enclosure dimensions may(?) be a factor why you've mating & my flies in contrast got settled in what would be too high relative to the bottom core of the enclosure. I wonder if your males couldn't go too far upward in their bin & thus the light reflected from the female eyes angle is more appropriate for the "come hither" signal.
My earliest flies definitely preferred the topmost reaches & then too where sunlight struck the white mosquito net fabric as opposed to where leaves were throwing dappled shade. I presumed the 1st 2 days worth were males & once the secondary waves of flies came along there were enough females.
Among the secondary flushes there began to be flies in evidence hanging out down in the lower reaches of the enclosure; some seemed settled on the supplied cardboard strips atop spent coffee grounds & I'd begun to anticipate at least a little egg laying. Although not constantly in total shade the bottom 1/4 reaches of my enclosure facing the sun (west) might have been something that obstructed any timely spectra as well - but I may be presuming a wrong role for reflecting light in this.
Other than light I did consider the considerably sheer density of flies that spooked family member & despite trying to think if density shut down all mating have no way of blaming that once the flock size died back & still no mating occurred. Although tempted to try to save some breeders I couldn't release any of the population to try to coax them over to my covered balcony & see if would mate among my plants. I'm renting in an apartment complex & one new downstairs neighbor with young children also has lots of plants the flies might have gotten me in trouble over if the loose flies made their presence known there.
Next time I'll try a few outdoor sites where I think might be able to discretely do releases that won't impact people. I didn't do it this time because schedule limits opportunity to provide hydration & also for going back for checking cardboard egg traps.


Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:06 am
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Post Re: Indoor Co-op BSF Project
Thanks for the information guys!

BW you only use UCG as your attractant, if I am not mistaken, with no BSFL in your breeding tote?

StVitus has mentioned he is using both some remaining frass and BSFL to attract egg laying. I am going to try both of these methods, first some frass and then so BSFL as well, in a few days to see what happens.

I probably have around 500-800 BSFL still in the feeding bin and have around 200-300 pre-pupa in a couple of boxes so I figure I have at least 3-5 more waves of adults to play around with.

Temperature does effect the time from pre-pupa to adult flies no?

Thanks

TF


Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:31 am
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