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BSF and Duckweed

November 19, 2015

Here is a terrific link to details on how to rear black soldier flies. Mention was made about feeding fresh duckweed to BSF larvae. A little tip- don’t try to ONLY fresh duckweed.  Integrate with other vegetation and watch the moisture content. (around 60- 70%)

The first time I ever raised BSF was by accident. I found them in my kitchen scrap barrel. When the population ramped up, I watched them devour 6 inches deep of food scraps a day. Watching that seething mass of wriggling larvae was fascinating. I called my kids out to see what was going on. They took one look, started shrieking and ran for the house.

I guess I should have warned them.

Video courtesy Living Web Farms


One Comment leave one →
  1. Susan permalink
    November 20, 2015 1:43 pm

    I tried to raise BSF for three years here in WA. And they are naturalized here in the wild. It’s the confinement issue that seems to be the problem.

    The first year, the weather was so cool that they just didn’t mature very fast. So I decided to try to keep the larvae over the winter in the cool laundry room. One day I was shifting stuff around on my plant shelf (where their container was sitting) and set the container on the plant heat mat; they all hatched out into flies… in November. They only live 5 to 8 days, and it was too late for breeding.

    The second year,I gave them some cooked sweet potatoes that were past their prime. Unfortunately, my dog liked sweet potatoes, and got into the container and ate the sweet potatoes AND most of the BSF larvae.

    The third year, they were slow to mature again, but I had quite a few (purchased eggs), so I tried to keep them over the winter in the spare (cool) bathroom. By spring, I couldn’t find any live ones, so they must have gotten dehydrated or something. But I dumped them in the garden, just in case I had missed some live ones.

    But if you live in a place with a longer warm season, they should do great.

    Tip: if you feed them to your chickens or other fowl, don’t feed more than a quarter of their diet, as they’re too rich.

    Another tip: they can be frozen, kept in a sealed container, and doled out in the winter as a high-protein chicken treat.



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