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 Post subject: BSF
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 4:48 pm 
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Location: South Texas
Susan,

I read where you mentioned the BSF working your bins. I fed the two bins that Fran was caring for just prior to moving her and them back here to Texas. When I opened the bins to feed there were maybe 4 to 6 BSF's flew out of the bin. Today, almost two weeks since I last checked the bins I opened the one that had the BSF's and man at least two dozen adults flew out at once. Yea CB2, I thought I was being attacked by them aliens of yours.

Will need to watch this bin especially here in this warmer climate.

GR8

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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 8:49 pm 
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I had some here last year. I'm figuring I'll have more again this summer with the abundance of grocery store cast offs I have. As far as I'm concerned, the BSFs are welcome to the buffet in my outdoor worm bin. If there is more than my worms can eat, that means that the worms have all they need to grow their population and meanwhile the BSFs convert the excess food into something useful.

RG


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 5:15 am 
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RG,

I don't mind them, I just don't want their numbers to get to large as they tend to heat up the bin and are so aggressive the worms tend to move away from them.

Their waste, poop, is a good source of chow for the worm though.

GR8

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 8:54 am 
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BSF are also a sign that the bin is turning acidic. If you have large numbers of BSF, the pH of the bin is becoming inhospitable to the worms. So, when I see them in my bins/piles, I know that it's time to back off on the food, maybe add a little bedding, and turn the bins every day or so for a week or longer.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 5:18 pm 
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Priswell, I have done allot of reading on the BSF and their larvae and don’t remember reading anything about acidity.

They are opportunistic feeders and the females lay their eggs not in the food stock but near so the larvae can have immediate access to the food.

I have read that the waste of the BSF is good food stock for composting worms.

If you would please direct me to the paper you read about acidity.

Thanks

GR8

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 6:06 pm 
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Location: Zone 8 Northeast Texas
I was gonna post something about the acidity levels when BSF are present, and it was gonna be along the same lines as GR8.

In my experiences with them, they are most usually found in a situation where the foodstuff isn't really worm-ready (rotten enough for them to eat), or excessive (where the worms couldn't keep up), which has caused that old excess moisture bugaboo (that we all love to here about all the time), and they are right at home in it because they can eat that non-decomposing food.

But, I don't think I've seen a situation where the bin was necessarily too acidic, or...where the worms were overwhelmed by the BSF. They've all gotten along very well....BSF are a worms best friend for prepping food for him..until the BSF 'flew the coop'.

Chuckiebtoo

The worms' own inate activities...which themselves neutralize acidity, and crushed egg shells, keep my bins pH neutral, and I always have BSF.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 7:42 pm 
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Location: South Texas
If you go back to the archives and read when I first experienced BSF larvae, was when I added to one of my OJ's a chit load of peaches from my tree. NO MODERATION, NO DIVERSITY, AND NO PATIENCE. Thank you CB2.

Some of us are mules!

Now that being said, I am starting a bin at work just to raise BSF larvae. Why you ask? I just planted $1500 worth of catfish, bluegill, bass, and soon talapia, as the weather warms. Great fish food. Also adding some grass carp for weed control.

I dont mind them in my bin but only in MODERATION.

GR8

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 9:00 pm 
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I agree with GR8 and CB2.
I am raising BSF in a bin created just for them.
Years ago I used to think that they, (BSF), liked acidic, anaerobic conditions.
A well respected past poster, Kelly Slocum, helped me understand that these creatures only perhaps tolerated these conditions.
The BSF can eat massive amounts of raw organics, needing nothing to break it down for them.
If a new bin is outside and loaded with more food than the worms can eat, (in warm weather) it will attract the adult Soldier Fly.
Like GR8 said..
Quote:
They are opportunistic feeders and the females lay their eggs not in the food stock but near so the larvae can have immediate access to the food.

They are being raised all over for chicken/wild bird/pond fish food,
Yes, people are now paying for colonies of BSF larvae.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 5:42 am 
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Location: South Texas
Susan,

So, do you have a bin setup with no worm’s only BSF larvae? Didn't you test the Bio Pod? I have spoke with the company that builds this unit and am a reseller for them. Only problem is production is just ramping up so it's hard to get them right now. Well, I have not checked with them since my move but will contact them next week to check availability. The beauty of this unit is that the design allows of the larvae to self harvest, it's clean, and it is easy to maintain.


"Compliments Existing Compost & Worm Bins

The BioPodâ„¢ is not designed for yard waste, but it will keep the critters out of your compost bin by diverting all the food scraps away from your pile of temptation. The friable compost, though relatively small in quantity, will serve as the perfect worm food, and allow you to make vermicompost faster than you ever thought possible!"


If you leave an opening for the adult and over stock a plastic bin the adult will lay around 900 eggs at a time. Just cover with the lid and put no shreds you will be able to harvest large amounts of larvae in a very short time. If I remember correctly, 43% protein and 15% fat makes for good fish, poultry, reptile and in some parts of the world they are dried, ground and used as a food supplement (not a happy thought). But they are actually very clean and carry no diseases and I think the adults are cute. lol

GR8

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 9:22 am 
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I'm going with the middle ground here. As stated the BSF larva can process decaying organic waste "not yet worm ready". As we all know, decaying organic material becomes very acidic until later neutralized in the process. This suggests that although BSF lava may not necessarily prefer the acidic conditions, they seemingly more than tolerate it. An abundance of decaying material (not yet worm ready) is also not yet worm friendly, setting the table for other critters to get get first licks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 9:28 am 
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Location: Zone 8 Northeast Texas
Actually, BSF are so voracious, the foodstuff doesn't have to yet be decaying. They do, though, tend to make a sloppy mess.....the moisture level is usually way too high.... whereever they're chowing down.

Chuckiebtoo

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 9:55 am 
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Location: Raleigh, NC
Quote:
An abundance of decaying material (not yet worm ready) is also not yet worm friendly, setting the table for other critters to get get first licks.

If you have a good colony of BSF larva, the abundance of food scraps will be gone in a day or so. Other critters will not have a chance to share.
I have put whole heads of cauliflower and broccoli in a bin and it was gone in less than 36 hours. Other less cruciferous materials were gone the next day.
Another positive is that their presence repels houseflies.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 10:17 am 
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Location: South Texas
Chuck, you are so correct there. They do tend to make your bin way to wet.

The BioPod is set up so the liquid drains from the bottom of the unit into jars. It also has a ramp inside the unit that as the larvae reach the stage that they are about to go into pupation (sp) they march right up this ramp, and at the top is a hole that they fall through into a catch bucket, as I said self harvesting critters.

If anyone is interested.

http://www.thebiopod.com/index.html

I just found out that since I made the move to Texas and let my biz license and tax id go, I can no longer resell for them. I hope to get set up here in Texas so I can once again sell this unit.

GR8

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 12:15 pm 
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Location: Raleigh, NC
Quote:
They do tend to make your bin way to wet.

The BSF manure is very liquid-y.
I have designed a BSF bin that sits above a ground worm bin.
The liquid drains from the BSF bin into the worm bin. The worms feed on that and turn it into a stable material (VC).
That's very similar to what they are doing on hog farms here in NC.
Most of my clients want that VC, so a BSF bin per se would not help them make that with their food scraps.
By combining the two bins, much more food waste can be processed, much faster and then the worms can work their magic.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 12:42 pm 
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Susan,
Would you share how you made your BSF bin with us? I'd love to make one, myself. Pictures would be helpful if you have any.

How often do you harvest the BSF manure? (Or does it also fall into the worm bin?)

Thank you!

RG


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:08 am 
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Priswell, I have done allot of reading on the BSF and their larvae and don’t remember reading anything about acidity.

It's about personal observation. Every pocket of BSF larvae I've found in my bins/piles smells acidic. Worms avoid it, get sick if they are forced to be in proximity. If the pile is big enough, the BSF can do their thing away from the worms, but when I find them, I take action. To me, they're trouble.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:09 pm 
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Location: Zone 8 Northeast Texas
Almost everyone who has experienced BSF larvae for the first time feels exactly the same way. Almost all of them change their minds after a little bit.

The worms and BSF larvae get along very well....maybe grudgingly...but the BSF larvae produce great worm chow.

Chuckiebtoo

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:12 pm 
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Almost all of them change their minds after a little bit.

I very seriously doubt I will be one of them. ;)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:43 pm 
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Just to be SURE, are we sure Priswell isn't confusing Pot worms with BSF. One is white little worms that favor acidic conditions the other are fat dark larva.

Just checking.

Kat


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:13 pm 
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Not pot worms, BSF. Confirmed.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:01 pm 
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I don't remember if I have posted this before, (and I guarantee Priswell will be turning off her monitor as we speak).

http://www.dallasnews.com/video/dallasnews/hp/index.html?nvid=173618&shu=1
Familiarity is a wonderful thing.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:47 pm 
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We definitely need a "gagging" emoticon. That's just WRONG!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:19 pm 
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Wow...I forgot how fast BSF show up in mass.
I have been putting totes outside with fresh food scraps, and putting fresh food in the BioPod. I noticed some adult BSF flying about them this past week.
Today I went out to check these bins and all are just amass in BSF larvae. Food is going very fast.
I particularly love to feed them all the kale, turnips, cauliflower, beets, and other cruciferous foods found in my weekly produce run for the worms.
I don't have to do anything to it other than just add it to the bin.
I am still working on incorporating a worm bin beneath the BSF
BioPod and will have pictures soon.
My clients who have chickens, pond fish, wild birds and raise dogs are all very happy with the ease of having free food or pet waste removal.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:19 pm 
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Location: Zone 5
Do these flies survive the winters of Zone 5? Sounds like they'd be a welcome addition to an outdoor bin or to work in conjunction with one as RedHen suggests.

Did you ever get that setup to your satisfaction, RedHen?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:54 am 
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Location: Richmond, VA Zone 7
Mine seem to be doing ok. Have a large storage container that I am using to house some worms and the remainder of the BSF bin I had going during the Summer. They are moving a little slower, but are still active. I have been piling on the manure, grass and kitchen scraps to help keep the heat up in the center. Winters seem to be fairly mild in VA, so it's not too hard to maintain an outdoor bin during the cold months.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:07 am 
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Location: Zone 5
What zone are you in Wistar?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:35 am 
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love2garden wrote:
What zone are you in Wistar?


No idea. I hail from Richmond, VA if that helps.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:58 am 
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Hi! Growing zone 7 folks

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:46 pm 
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Location: Zone 5
Okay - when I was dismantling my troubled bin, I came across what looked like a BSF larvae and I'm in Zone 5. I thought that would be too cold. But maybe not.

I don't know what your zone is in Virginia, Westar, but I'd guess it's a couple of zones warmer than mine since I'm up in the Northwest.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:19 pm 
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WistarWorms wrote:
love2garden wrote:
What zone are you in Wistar?


No idea. I hail from Richmond, VA if that helps.
I'm in Norfolk zone 8a, I think you're 8 - Lots of bsf here in the summer.

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