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Composting with Black Soldier Flies

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DIY BSF Bins

Filterbug Plywood BSFL Bin v1
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20L BSF Bucket Bin
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Nature's own ultimate food recyclers, BSF have proven to be a great summertime composting solution.

The BSF larvae will eat kilograms of scrap food a night in small composting units, eliminating your food waste before it can even begin to rot.

Black Soldier Fly larvae do more than just eat waste.

When they are done eating your food waste, they will harvest themselves into buckets and let you feed them to your chooks, pigs, ducks, birds and fish. You name it. High in protein and fat they could become a main ingredient in future animal feeds.

On average a household will produce a little under a kg of food waste per day. This food waste can be composted at home using black soldier fly larvae much much faster than worms can do it. 

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Adult BSF

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    • BorealWormer's Avatar
    • My first bin
    • I don't know how the commercial operations do this. It may be that they sieve the contents of the trays after a certain period of time. In my small indoor system the larvae will pupate in the food tub if it is kept dry enough.
    • In Black Soldier Fly Farming Forum / BSF Bins
    • BorealWormer's Avatar
    • My first bin
    • Quote: As far as I can see, there are two main styles for raising BSF larvae. The first one is shown on these and other forums, and involves either a tote bin or a large covered trough which is filled with food waste and drained from the bottom. This is the same idea as the sucessful biopod. The second method is one which appears to be used commercially, and involves large, open trays which are filled with food but kept relatively dry - perhaps similar to the moisture levels of a good sponge cake. In my experience, the dry method is far easier than trying to control the moisture. Well said Aussiemoo. Commercial operations typically use spent grain from breweries or other preconsumer waste which are uniform in consistency and has low moisture content. I don't think they have to worry about drainage at all. These food sources also allow the commercial operators to limit the 'yuck' factor in their advertising of ingredients. Where the climate allows and there are wild populations of BSF there are operations that use outdoor windrows of more typical post consumer food waste.
    • In Black Soldier Fly Farming Forum / BSF Bins
    • Aussiemoo's Avatar
    • My first bin
    • As far as I can see, there are two main styles for raising BSF larvae. The first one is shown on these and other forums, and involves either a tote bin or a large covered trough which is filled with food waste and drained from the bottom. This is the same idea as the sucessful biopod. The second method is one which appears to be used commercially, and involves large, open trays which are filled with food but kept relatively dry - perhaps similar to the moisture levels of a good sponge cake. In my experience, the dry method is far easier than trying to control the moisture. I would get rid of the gravel and add lots of fibrous material instead to soak up the moisture. I would also try and keep the media relatively shallow, so that prepupae are constantly buffetted and disturbed by larvae, and the bottom of the bin is always pretty damp. As pre-pupae seek a quiet, dry place, hopefully they will migrate out on their own. If you think about how BSF would be in the wild, when a rotten pumpkin or dead animal is colonized, crawling up and off is the most dangerous route, as birds and predators will be waiting. Instead a better move would be to burrow down where it's safe, and then eclose out when the carcass has been completely consumed and is gone. Therefore naturally the BSF want to burrow down when they turn into pre-pupae, but if it's too rowdy or too wet then they will seek higher ground as they assume they're in a ditch or hole where they will drown waiting to eclose out. It's a fine balance, and I wish there was more data about how wet it needs to be in there. BSF will destroy glue and silicone inside their bin, and they can squeeze their bodies through insanely narrow spaces by transferring their internal liquids into their butt and then moving forward millimitre by millimetre, re-inflating on the other side, I've seen them fit through gaps the width of a coin. If you're going to try and stop them from going somewhere you need water-tight seals.
    • In Black Soldier Fly Farming Forum / BSF Bins
    • terzogr's Avatar
    • My first bin
    • HELP needed!! The mature larvae instead of crawling out the bin from the top they are found in the leachate. The attached photos show the initial bottom of the bin which has been proved inadequate to keep the mature larvae. I removed the fly screen and I have insulated the edges with silicone. I left only the small holes on the wood to let the water drain. Before I put the feeding substrate I have put a thick layer of gravel. But still the larvae prefer to dig in the gravel and try to fit in these tiny holes to find a way out than climbing on the ramp. What I should do? To make the holes even smaller? Is it possible that the heating system on top to discourage the larvae to craw out the substrate? The temperature does not exceed the 29 C... I have no idea...
    • In Black Soldier Fly Farming Forum / BSF Bins

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