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Black Soldier Fly Bin - Mk 1 version 1

1 x 12 gallon Tote.

2 x 1¼” Aluminium pipes – cut from the handle of a swimming pool scoop.
2 x 1¼” Elbow joints - irrigation fittings from local hardware store
1 x Y-Piece – from 1” PVC conduit, bent and shaped with a heat gun, then glued together.
¾” Clear PCV tubing to connect the bits together – local hardware store.

Flared ends of the aluminium ramps.

Drain pipe at the base of the bin.

A 5/8” irrigation fitting with clear PVC tubing – local hardware store.

Collection bucket – an empty tub of tile adhesive with dry leaves to keep the grubs calm.

Barrier to stop the grubs from escaping is 1” Velcro Hook. Velcro Loop will also work, but the grubs get trapped in the loops.

Complete Bin

and finally . . . Black Soldier Flies.

Female laying eggs

BSF eggs

Young BSF larvae

Views: 12049

Comment by Andrew from California on October 2, 2010 at 11:22pm
Pete, great job on the BSFL bin! Did you use tilapia from your pool/pond for bait? What kind of bedding do you have in the bin? It can quickly get very wet, but I'm sure you know that. Autumn has just started here, so that means it's Spring for you, right? If temps are still below 80F, you might want to put the bin in a spot that gets a couple hours of morning sun. These grubs eat more when bin temps are above 80F. Looking forward to the first swarm of grubs photo. ha! I'm sure many here will refrain from looking.
Comment by Peter Barnard on October 3, 2010 at 12:09am
Thanks Andrew, yes tilapia from the pond. The fish feed the grubs, and the grubs feed the fish. It's a Ying-Yang thing.
The guy at says to use corn kernels soaked in water, but all that did was to attract ants.
I would think that raw liver or shrimp would also make a good bait.
They sure like the heat - still churning around like crazy in the black bin standing in full sun.
At the moment there's only cow manure and kitchen waste in the bin. I still have to figure out what they like best. The pics will be posted with a warning to sensitive viewers :-0
Comment by Peter Barnard on October 3, 2010 at 4:00am
Larry, they definitely don’t operate in our ‘winter’, and these only showed up a few days ago. Apparently the grubs can hibernate for more than 6 months, so it will be interesting to see how long I can keep them going.
A mix of cabbage and manure might work as bait, but in my book you want something that really smells – like chicken giblets or such.
Mongooses could be a problem with me, but a small bin like this is easy to move into the garage a night.
I would imagine that your raccoons must be like a mongoose on steroids.
I read that BSF are actually native to the Americas, from Argentina though to Seattle & Boston. During WW II, Uncle Sam was kind enough to export them all over the world.
Comment by Len on October 3, 2010 at 4:15am
Back then I beleive it was part of the "Lend Lease" program. :-D
Comment by Peter Barnard on October 3, 2010 at 8:21am
Thanks for the heads-up Steamy, I'll keep a careful eye on them.
Comment by Andrew from California on October 31, 2010 at 10:44am
Pete, I got an email about this discussion today, but there's no new comment. I assume this is the update: "These are possibly not BSFL grubs. They could also be Warehouse or Khapra Beetle larvae. Considered to be one of the world's worst grain eating pests."
Comment by Sue on October 31, 2010 at 11:46am
Oh, this is the first time I've seen these pictures.
Very nicely done Peter.
Comment by Pat James on October 31, 2010 at 12:57pm
Pete, I don;t think that one is a BSFL. They are a little more rounded and don't have the spines. At least the ones I have are. I like your setup for retrieving larvae though. Wish I knew all this when I had my pet store years ago.. I'd have had a great time providing even more types of live food food for the animals.
Comment by Peter Barnard on November 20, 2010 at 11:56am
My thanks Steamyb & Pat. You guys were correct, that was not a BSF grub.
Finally, after two months, here's what I think is a genuine, home-grown BSFL.

Comment by Andrew from California on November 20, 2010 at 12:38pm
Here's an interesting blog about breeding BSF indoors. It may turn out they don't need quite as much air space as previously thought in order to mate. Of course the trick is still to keep them warm enough. I have a space with enough light to set up such a system, but it would cost quite a lot to heat it.


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