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black soldier flies in the Pacific Northwest?

Jeremey Weeks


Joined: Jan 16, 2013
Posts: 206
Location: Eastern Washington, 8 acres, h. zone 5b
    
    2
I was wondering if anyone is raising soldier fly larvae in the Pacific Northwest. Is this something viable? Are you using a bio pod? How did you get your flies?

Thanks ahead of time!


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Matt Saager


Joined: Jul 17, 2012
Posts: 47
Location: Oregon - Willamette Valley
Absolutely you can.... the PNW may not be the ideal place, but they grow fine here.

I raise them on a small scale, with a 5-gal bucket setup.
To supplement feed for my chickens.

Here's a youtube video about a place in the northwest.
They raise them on a much larger scale.
Their channel has several videos on BSF's.

Alder Burns
pollinator

Joined: Feb 25, 2012
Posts: 1143
Location: northern California
    
  36
I've got a biopod but I've ended up reinoculating it with mailorder grubs every spring.....they are available from a couple of companies as reptile and fish food. The cold season is too long for the grubs to winter over, seemingly (unlike where we used to live, in Georgia), and I haven't seen adults laying in it of themselves....makes me think it is uncommon or absent in the wild. This year I've got some pupae stored away in some mulch in a can and hopefully they will hatch out and start the cycle again. Does anyone know if they are found in the West, and how to bait them to a new biopod? The last two springs I've ended up attracting housefly maggots, and thus resorted to mailing in more larvae....


Alder Burns (adiantum)
Jeremey Weeks


Joined: Jan 16, 2013
Posts: 206
Location: Eastern Washington, 8 acres, h. zone 5b
    
    2
Awesome video, Matt--Thanks! I see a wood project in my future.

I had some different looking flies in the greenhouse today. I'll try to get a pic tomorrow. I'm not sure if they're black soldier flies or not.

Good question, Alder.
                          


Joined: Mar 19, 2011
Posts: 6
Location: Alberta Canada
Jeremey Weeks wrote:I was wondering if anyone is raising soldier fly larvae in the Pacific Northwest. Is this something viable? Are you using a bio pod? How did you get your flies?
There are natural populations in the Pacific Northwest. The Black Soldier Fly Blog has set up a Black Soldier Fly Mapping Project (link) displaying the locations of confirmed BSF sightings/wild populations and seasonal data.

We also have a D-I-Y BSF Bioconversion Units (link) section and a thread on how to attract them (link).

Good luck with your BSF.


BorealWormer
Jeremey Weeks


Joined: Jan 16, 2013
Posts: 206
Location: Eastern Washington, 8 acres, h. zone 5b
    
    2
I can't seem to get a good pic of the flies I'm seeing in my greenhouse. A friend who has handled black soldier flies stopped by and said that what I have isn't. Oh well. I'll build my bin and then order I guess.
nancy sutton
volunteer

Joined: Feb 22, 2010
Posts: 403
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
    
  12
For keeping BSF overwinter, check out this powerpoint presentation... slides 58 and on address the cold weather ... even in Eugene, OR

http://www.biotech.kth.se/iobb/news/po-brazil.pdf


It's time to get positive about negative thinking    -Art Donnelly
nancy sutton
volunteer

Joined: Feb 22, 2010
Posts: 403
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
    
  12
Re: bsf in PNW.... I have just done some research and am tossing this idea out. It seems that larva can be kept warm enough with insulation and their self-generated heat to possibly survive our winters and continue 'eating'.. at least, as far north as Eugene. Its the mating/egg laying that has to be done in light, and at around 70 degrees, which is why buying in larva every year may be necessary.

However, it may be possible to take some (a few) pupating larva inside, buried in a tray of minimum 2" of soil, let them hatch into flies (which are slow moving, live less than 2 weeks, don't eat anything) which mate and then lay eggs. I believe they can be easily contained in a small screened cage, with enough light and warmth. Apparently they readily lay eggs in edges of corrugated cardboard daubed with some foods (can't remember, but can look it up if desired), or, best with exudate from the bottom of the larva feeding container. The hatched larva can be sent off to turn into feed. This whole process happens pretty quickly, btw... raising larva through the winter and to increase larva numbers.

I got this information from talking to the largest larva seller, in one of the Carolinas... who, coincidentally was backlogged on their orders... which I take as a good sign of something ;)
 
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