BSF bin

sk290October 13, 2010

I think I have BSF larvae in my worm bin (have to dig around to confirm) and I would like to build a separate bin for them. Can anyone share pictures of their BSF bins if you have one? I could also use some tips on building and maintaining one. Thanks in advance for your input.

Sandra

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equinoxequinox

Knock all around the http://www.thebiopod.com/ site. He has a forum to answer questions and a prototype II homemade system he shares for free. Probably no need to purchase a biopod unless one wants a beautiful BSFL bin to show to guests.

Some people may keep both in the same bin, but here we have not yet had extensive discussions of that. I would like to read more on the topic but not many doing it yet.

That might even be a group that would break off if there was enough interest since it is sort of a different topic.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 5:48PM
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plumiebear(z9? CA)

Sandra,

Welcome to the proud, the few. haha! Most folks seem to scream bloody murder when they find BSFL. Here's a couple of links for you:
Jerry at Black Solider Fly Blog has a nice DIY bin based on a 5 gal. bucket.
My own, simpler DIY grub bin unfortunately has very few BSFL because of cool weather this summer. I notice you're in zone 9b, which is similar to my micro-climate in the SF bay area. You'll need to either insulate & heat the bin or just let the grubs go dormant in the next month or so. If you only have a quart or less of BSFL, you'll want to use a fairly small container.

Cheers,
Andrew

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 8:54PM
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sk290

Thanks guys, these are great links! There is so much to consider. I would prefer to keep them with the wormies (one less thing to manage) but I'll have to see how the pros and cons weight out. From what I can tell, the biggest issue is the temperature and humidity increase due to the grubs' activities. On the other hand having a separate bin would keep the wormies more comfortable. After all, they were here first. :)

I'm in Kona this week for vacation but when I get back home I'll set up a 5gl bucket and see how it goes. I'll post notes and pics so you guys can check it out.

Andrew, I can send you some grubs if I find out that I have lots of them in the bin if you'd like. I'll let you know when I get home.

Thanks everyone!

Sandra

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 5:53PM
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pjames(8/LA)

Last year, I was fascinated by BSFL in a 'captive' situation- a special bin so I could closely study them. I was hoping that if I kept them on a close environment, they would not continue to develop and pupate. You can do this with mealworms.

Now I encourage them to grow in my back yard in a special bin- about a 40 gallon garbage can that I throw pet waste, and "questionable" material that I will not put into either my regular compost or my worm bins. This includes stuff like meat scraps (today the neck fat and giblets of a chicken I am cooking), plus dead squirrels etc.

I have on a couple occasions thrown in some bulk material. I now use cat litter made from pine shavings which all goes into this bin, but I have also occasionally added a little shredded paper and some weeds. I stuck a garden fork and sort of mixed the stuff recently (holding my breath). It is a muck.

I'm not sure how it will change during the cooler months as the BSFL population declines. I have considered adding a dozen or so worms just to see if they will survive.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 7:15PM
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equinoxequinox

Excellent, Informative, Usefull, facinating post. (May I suggest that compost worms with maggots is a seperate but elite topic that needs its own forum?) eventually? "The elite maggot and worm forum", LOL. The topic needs to grow here but then bloom somewhere else, because worm people do not want to chat and hear about highly praised maggots. Also maggot/worm bins have maybe different discussion topics that pure worm people do not want to hear about. While knowing our worm only bin roots. And I don't even have maggots yet. I'm sure once I do I will head for the hills.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 3:52AM
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pjames(8/LA)

Having said what I did above, I might look like a major fan of BSFL but I am not about to use them with my worms. They serve a purpose at my house- to get rid of putrescent material.

My worms, on the other hand are used to process as much of the other organics we generate. Their excrement (castings) has become a primary ingredient in my gardening.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 10:57AM
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sk290

I find that both worms and BSF are very complimentary.

1. BSF will process 'fresh' food whereas worms eats the bacteria created from pre-composted organic foods AND the worms will further process the BSF's casting. It's almost like a two step process of composting. I'm thinking this might replace the need to pre-process food for the wormies. I often freeze veggies before feeding them to the worms so they break down faster but I could delegate this task to the BSF instead?

2. BSF processes food at a much faster rate than worms do. I've read that they can eat an entire salmon in a day, bones and all. It takes me about 6 months to get VC out of the wormies.

3. BSF will eat foods that worms don't. We eat mostly fish at our house and it would be nice to have that processed in the bin as opposed to sending it to the landfill. They also eat dairy, fats, onions and citrus which we seem to have lots of.

I guess that people's biggest challenge in accepting BSF (except for the heating and moisture issue if missmanaged) is changing their impression about 'maggots'. I used to be like that about worms but I'm over it now! :) I am more focused on the benefits they bring as opposed to the 'gross factor'.

Our goal is to minimize our footprint as much as possible. It's amazing the amount of trash we've been able to reduce since we started a bin almost a year ago. Now we are proud parents of 4 wonderful and healthy worm condos. This has also made us much more aware of our actions and what we eat. This is a very helpful and informative forum and sharing experiences with you guys has been invaluable. Spread the word!

Sandra :)

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 3:39PM
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pjames(8/LA)

My wife and I eat primarily poultry and fish. That is because I work in the medical field as a perfusionist (heart/lung machine) and am very "heart conscious". But with the 2 of us, we do not have alot of waste. The same with the dairy etc. All the meat products etc go to the BSFL bin. As does my cat litter (use pine shavings). It is still a funky mess. Part of this is I add the occasional squirrel to that bin. (I am waging a war with the tree-rats.) I'm not sure I would put the stuff from the BSFL bin on my garden. It will all go on ornimentals.

I'm going to see how long it takes this garbage can bin to fill. After maybe 5 months it has gone up 9 inches. Alot of that is still food...can;t say fresh as it is some stinky mess.

I wonder why it takes so long for you to get VC from your worm bins. I harvest fairly often as I need the castings. I get a couple gallons a month with only a few FT's (about 7 gallon of total space each). And a smaller EH bin (kitty litter bucket).

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 6:38PM
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