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#504440 - 04/16/19 08:35 PM Re: Raising Black Soldier Fly Larva [Re: Mike Whatley]
Mike Whatley Online   content


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1045
Loc: Louisiana
Played half hookie from work today and spent the rest of the day prettying up the yard and pond. Since I did such a fine job, I decided to treat myself to a cold adult beverage and grabbed the pole. The aeration was running and I was wanting to see if it had any affect on the bite.

I was struggling...nothing wanted to cooperate with the tube jig I was using, so it was time to try out my new bait...black soldier fly larva.

When I opened the box, to my surprise, I was greeted by several adult flies, and they were very intent on being there, even with me emptying the collection bin.

So back to the pond, where I tipped the jig with a larva and made a cast. Almost instantly the float disappeared. Nothing to brag about size wise, but I didnt skunk.

Long story short, the next 30 minutes was one fish after another. Many times the float would stand up and go straight out of sight. Added a few female BG to the holding pen for cleaning in the very near future and caught several really nice bulls, which were politely returned to the pond. Had two come unbuttoned that I sure would like to see, they were brutes, whatever they were.

They absolutely loved the larva, even on a bare jig head. Kind of hard to get a hook in them, because their exoskeleton is pretty tough, but you can catch a couple of fish on one larva.
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.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!

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#504448 - 04/17/19 04:45 AM Re: Raising Black Soldier Fly Larva [Re: Mike Whatley]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
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Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13866
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Congrats Mike. Great to hear when a plan comes together.
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#504453 - 04/17/19 06:48 AM Re: Raising Black Soldier Fly Larva [Re: Mike Whatley]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5865
Loc: Boone County Illinois
+1 !!
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#504455 - 04/17/19 08:07 AM Re: Raising Black Soldier Fly Larva [Re: Mike Whatley]
Mike Whatley Online   content


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1045
Loc: Louisiana
To be honest, up until yesterday, I've been a bit disappointed. I collect a couple hundred from the generator every afternoon and have been hand throwing them around the pond, with very little reaction from the fish wanting to surface feed on them. Apparently, they're waiting for them to sink, which takes a while, but they've definitely taken a liking to them.
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!

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#504923 - 04/26/19 04:27 PM Re: Raising Black Soldier Fly Larva [Re: Mike Whatley]
Mike Whatley Online   content


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1045
Loc: Louisiana
A brief update...

Went out to collect some pupae and add some scraps to the generator today. Collected about 300 worms. As I was giving the fras a little stir I found several new larvae, less than 1/4" long, so the adults have definitely been doing their due diligence. Now it should be a perpetual generator, producing an endless supply of fresh high protein/fat feed. May have to look into building a small solar oven to dry them for preserving.
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!

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#504933 - 04/26/19 10:14 PM Re: Raising Black Soldier Fly Larva [Re: Mike Whatley]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 2026
Loc: West Michigan
That's awesome! post pictures again if you have time.
How often do you have to resupply the food?

Now you could sell some brood stock to others? Would it make sense to sell the mature worms or the tiny larvae?

I want to start so would need a starter supply. I can't do it outside yet since we are supposed to get some freak snow at the end of April in MI (a couple of inches, but hopefully will melt by Monday)

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#504941 - 04/27/19 10:03 AM Re: Raising Black Soldier Fly Larva [Re: Mike Whatley]
Mike Whatley Online   content


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1045
Loc: Louisiana
Hey CC. I'm only resupplying the food stock every few days. I definitely accumulate more scraps than I need. Temps regulate how fast they consume it. Some they devour quickly, other stuff they take their time on. I've put in whole snakes and fish that were completely consumed in hours...amazing.

I'm not collecting enough to try to sell,and really dont want to get into all that, but I may make a few gift donations to a few of my friends who raise laying hens, until I get my own anyway.

There are places that are already set up to sell and have much larger operations and can deliver within days of ordering. I may have sent you a PM with the supplier I used in College Station,TX. If not let me know if you want it, or just Google for them. You can also use Phoenix worms as a search.

I can say that when feeding them to fish, you dont see the heavy surface feeding you get with pellets. I was concerned they weren't eating them at all and I might be wasting my time. But I cleaned 25 last Friday and almost every one of them had worms in their stomachs and were really fat. I just started throwing pellets again this week, so it wasnt from that. Because of their size, only larger fish can eat them, but they float forever, it seems like. My next experiment will be drying them out so they can be either ground into meal or just broken up into smaller pieces. You dont lose any protein or fat when dried, so they'll be more accessible to smaller fish.

I'm researching building a solar oven because I really doubt the wife will let me use the house stove!!

Edit; the pic is what I collected today after 24 hours. Some days it's less, some days it's more. As the days heat up, I expect this quantity will be a minimum collection for my setup.

[img]https://photos.app.goo.gl/SUCgKiUZQ4oaEq7AA[/img]


Edited by Mike Whatley (04/27/19 08:03 PM)
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!

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#506493 - 05/25/19 04:56 PM Re: Raising Black Soldier Fly Larva [Re: Mike Whatley]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 974
Loc: in the mountains
Very cool project!!

It would be really efficient to somehow build it over the water where they just fall in the pond when they crawl out!!
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#506495 - 05/25/19 05:22 PM Re: Raising Black Soldier Fly Larva [Re: Mike Whatley]
Mike Whatley Online   content


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1045
Loc: Louisiana
I have considered doing that, but I'd have to build some kind of shading to keep the box from getting too hot. As it is, I have the box under a big shade tree out away from the house (wife's stern suggestion). I also have plans to get a few laying hens and intend to use the worms to supplement feeding them as well. I've seen video where the operator had a joint of PVC pipe running from the collection bin out over the water and it seemed to work well. I'm currently collecting about a half pound ever couple of days and saw a whole flock of adult flies near the generator today.

Now I'm experimenting with drying methods to preserve them longer.
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!

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#506496 - 05/25/19 05:28 PM Re: Raising Black Soldier Fly Larva [Re: Mike Whatley]
wbuffetjr Offline


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 974
Loc: in the mountains
Wow!! Half a pound every couple days is a LOT more than I was imagining this would produce! That is pretty crazy.
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#506498 - 05/25/19 08:29 PM Re: Raising Black Soldier Fly Larva [Re: Mike Whatley]
Mike Whatley Online   content


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1045
Loc: Louisiana
I've never actually weighed them out, so that's just an estimate. It fluctuates up and down depending on how much food I give them. The cool thing is if they dont get fed, they just hang out waiting and can go for days without eating. Their metabolism just goes into park and waits. I put in a whole bunch of old leaf lettuce yesterday and it was all gone this morning. They ate good today...overripe banana and approx. 100 2" fish. It'll all be gone tomorrow too, bones and all.


Edited by Mike Whatley (05/25/19 08:33 PM)
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!

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#507100 - 06/09/19 07:57 PM Re: Raising Black Soldier Fly Larva [Re: Mike Whatley]
Cody Sandhoff Offline


Registered: 05/16/19
Posts: 26
Loc: Texas
How long does it take to start getting quality results?

Also, do you worry about ants getting into the bins? How many did you let run into adults?

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#507104 - 06/09/19 09:16 PM Re: Raising Black Soldier Fly Larva [Re: wbuffetjr]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 349
Loc: NW Kansas
Originally Posted By: wbuffetjr
Very cool project!!

It would be really efficient to somehow build it over the water where they just fall in the pond when they crawl out!!

I've built several of these. 2X6 frame with 1/4" wire mesh stapled to bottom 2X6, build a second box the same way with wire mesh on top, hinge the 2 and you have a "bone box".
4 legs on 2 floats. Works real well to throw road kill, rabbits I shoot, culled fish, etc.. Maggots fall through wire, it's a panfish feeding machine!
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#507125 - 06/10/19 05:35 AM Re: Raising Black Soldier Fly Larva [Re: Mike Whatley]
Mike Whatley Online   content


Registered: 04/22/18
Posts: 1045
Loc: Louisiana
I initially threw a handful of pupated larva in the bushes beside the box to let them mature. You dont need to tho. Black Soldier Flies are naturally occurring and are everywhere. The adult female is naturally attracted to the smell. The warmer it gets the faster they mature. Never had an issue with ants....I think they'd just end up as food if they ventured into the box. These maggots are serious when it comes to eating. You can hear them chewing. That's why you wont have an issue with house fly maggots. The BSFL will eat them too.

Output is completely controlled by you and how much food you throw in the box. As long as they have food they continue to mature and crawl out. As soon as they've consumed everything they seem to go into a holding pattern and output stops....until you feed them again. I've collected a quart ziplock bag full in a couple of days.

Now I'm drying them out to keep them longer and give to friends with chickens. One thing I've noticed is you dont see panfish feed on them like you do pellets, but they do feed on them. Stomach contents of 25 BG all included larva and the fish were all very fat. That was before I started throwing pellets. Now I crush the dried larva and throw in the pellet mix so the smaller fish can feed better.


Edited by Mike Whatley (06/10/19 05:41 AM)
_________________________
.10 surface acre pond, 10.5 foot deep. SW LA. The epitome of a mutt pond. BG, LMB, GSF, RES, BH, Warmouth, Longear Sunfish, Gambusia,Mud Minnows, Crappie, and now shiners!!...I subscribe!!

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