June 23, 2020 at 2:21 pm #8438
Do your birds take the pupae if they are in the meal that you feed to them? Mine have left the pupae every time tone appears in the batch that I have fed. I just wondered if I should take them out if I notice them when I am preparing the cup of worms.
Stafford, VAJune 23, 2020 at 3:33 pm #8439Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
David, boy are you & Rich ever energetic! I don’t have any pupae in my worms, since I refrigerate them and they do not have stages of growth, especially like turning into a beetle. I do sift out most of the bedding (wheat bran) and they for sure will not eat any dead worms (black ones) and also don’t eat any of the bedding left. I admire you for trying this undertaking – it is just not for me. Hope you have lots of luck.June 23, 2020 at 5:33 pm #8440
Thanks Carol. I have refrigerated some of the larva but even they develop pupae after a time. It has been just about a month since I received the big shipment (10K) mealworms,and they were turning into pupae in about 10 days. I believe that I read in some of the literature on bluebirds that they will take the pupae, as it is still soft and moist like the larva. I counted last night and I have a total of around 800 pupae. At 50% females and a mere 150 eggs per female, I could have over 60,000 mealworms by August or September. I will need to feed them larger helpings or freeze them for winter. If they lay more than 150 each, I am going to have to find more blues to feed.
Stafford, VAJune 29, 2020 at 9:41 am #8488dogsandbirdsModerator
You could start your own mealworm business! Think of the rewards and glamor!
Seriously, EABL around here always accept the pupae. You actually counted yours? That’s pretty funny right there.
Atlanta, GAJune 30, 2020 at 9:50 am #8489
Gin, Thanks for the info about the pupae. I did count them when I did the cleanup last week just to see a theoretical number of what could happen based on the different numbers that appear in the information on the Internet. I got a bit concerned when it looked like I could have 350 female beetles laying 200 eggs per beetle – 70K mealworms. It will not be that many as some of the pupae have died off -like almost 25%, but that is okay. I am doing a test to see how many eggs 4 female beetles would lay in a week. I was able to find 4 pair in my beetle drawer and put them in a small container. I will try to count on Saturday. It gives me something to do during this “Stay-at Home” time.
Stafford, VAJuly 2, 2020 at 8:09 am #8502JulieParticipant
David, you could always freeze the abundance and then add them to homemade suet blends for winter. It would be a bonus to the birds that come. I love your at-home project! It’s giving me lots to ponder as I consider mealworms for future. Thank you!July 2, 2020 at 1:41 pm #8503
Waiting for the new mealworms seems to be the biggest time consumer. The sources vary on eggs hatching (from 4 days to 6 weeks to hatch) and then for the new larva to grow large enough to feed (6 to 10 weeks). So I am projecting a possible hatch as early as next week. If that occurs I could have feeders by around mid-September. I may have to get another order of mealworms from Grubco to bridge the gap if the hatch goes beyond the end of July.
Stafford, VAJuly 8, 2020 at 6:51 pm #8574dogsandbirdsModerator
So what’s going to be the name of your mealworm company?
Atlanta, GAJuly 8, 2020 at 7:39 pm #8575
That’s funny, Gin. Haven’t thought about going into business yet. I’m having enough trouble convincing the wife that I need to get a 5 drawer plastic drawer set from Walmart to replace the 3 drawer set that I am about to outgrow. New ones (worms) have not hatched yet but I can see thousands of eggs in the drawer. We will see what this first batch looks like before I think about building a heated shed outside for “production”. I have been collecting lots of “carry-out plastic containers from restaurants though.
Stafford, VAJuly 8, 2020 at 7:48 pm #8576
I am doing a test to see how many eggs 4 female beetles would lay in a week. I was able to find 4 pair in my beetle drawer and put them in a small container. I will try to count on Saturday.
Decided to let the eggs hatch, then sift out the young mealworms. It is much easier on the eyes to count the baby worms than try to deal with the almost microscopic eggs.
Stafford, VAJuly 8, 2020 at 9:31 pm #8578JulieParticipant
David, I am enjoying this discussion so much. Your scientific approach is delightful. I keep thinking there’s a best-selling novel in all of this somewhere…or at the very least, a great how-to/adventure tale that bluebirders would devour, pupae and all!!
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