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I made this similar to the kit.
The bottom picture has the no-see-um netting.
So far they haven't eaten through it and no issues with the setup.
You can keep adding levels as you need them.
I am using the lid to catch the frass.
This is similar to how we make our Mealworm Tower: http://velacreations.com/howto/mealworm-farm/
Nice, My dimesions are a little different then the kit, 21Lx 16W so that it can fit into a fridge easier. Also, you can add on for more levels which I am sure you can do with the kit as well. The real difference here is not making a no see um bag, which takes some time to make, this is a lot easier. I use a fridge that doesn't work to control humidity. I am looking for a source for metal mesh with the same hole size at the no see um netting to prevent any mealworms from putting holes in the material.
@Gregory - looks great, do you catch the frass below each tray?
Finding an economic source for stainless steel mesh is tricky (very expensive per sq ft), but there are suppliers that sell very fine filter mesh.
The idea is the bottom tray for mealworm, frass drops below. As beetles emerge they get separated to the above bins. As you get more beetles or you move the beetles after they have laid eggs for a few weeks, you add more trays. If you wanted each tray to have mealworms and a tray collector then you would have to add another 2 x 16" end piece for each tray lid otherwise the tray lids would cover up the tray underneath it. Hope that makes sense!
Makes sense - clever using the tray lids as rigid frass collectors. You may at some point need to through some mosquito mesh around the whole stack to keep out flies / grain moths.
Hopefully that won't be a problem as one unit is in a control environment and the second unit is in a greenhouse. The greenhouse unit is testing how easy it will be for other chicken farmers to raise mealworms for there chickens without a lot of extra work, such as control environments.
@Gregory Hello, your tower trays seems very practical and easily expandable, thanks for sharing the information. I have a couple of questions for you. :
I would like to know exactly the details of the best nylon cloth to put on the bottom of the growing trays: brand, supplier, etc. If you had a link would be great. I'm not really familiar with that and this information would be helpful, especially if the Internet could acquire.
I would like to know your experience with this system involving transit of frass from one tray to another until it is collected below the final tray. It Involves some kind of health problem for larvae?
Or would it be mandatory to place a lid to collect the frass of each tray?
Greetings and thanks.
I have found that the nylon cloth (misquito netting) really didn't do the trick I was hoping for or have read about. It's not that it didn't work, it just didn't allow for enough of the frass to slip past. I am currently using screen door netting material made out of metal instead of that nylon material. I basically have created a shaker box. Where after about two weeks I pour the mealworms, beetles, frass, and bran into my shaker box and sift out the frass and then pour everything back into the container. This has worked really good for me so far, little more work, but you get all the frass out. Only thing you need to be careful of is if you have a lot of beetles and there laying eggs, you could be sifting out your eggs, so timing is important. During this time when beetles laying eggs I wait for a while before sifting. Hope this helps
Hello, @Gregory, thanks for your response. I still have not used nylon and bottom of the boxes, but I had many doubts about whether the frass grains are thin enough to slip through the nylon. Your reply confirmed my suspicions.
I set up self-cleaning boxes with window wire mesh bottom that works great for large larvae and adults. Let the frass and some of the bran if you use it as a substrate. But I cannot use for boxes with newly hatched larvae, so my interest in the nylon.
Question No. 2 concerning the transit of frass from one tray to another until it is collected below the final tray, remained pending for responding.
It is a topic that interests me deeply because I will adopt the system tray tower you and @VelaCreations proposed. And I want to take care of all the details so as not to risk the health of the larvae.
To harvest the eggs I put strips of cloth fabric that have worked very well. The females lay their eggs in them and the dense tissue prevents them from being eaten. Every eight days replacement strips and collected the frass that has accumulated in the box below and 20% of the substrate. All this goes to a new box where the larvae hatch. Retired box breeding substrate is replenished with plenty of new material (rolled oats and wheat bran 60/40). This way I do not stress breeders unnecessarily.
Attached are some photos of my self-cleaning boxes.
@Gregory, I forgot attach the images, excuses.
Hello I just found this forum and so ready to learn more about raising and breeding mealworms I have been raising them since the beginning of the year and I will be following this thread and many more to come . Thank you for sharing your projects and ideas.
Hello, @Betsy, welcome Open Bugs Farm Forum. This site has been very helpful for my beginning in breeding mealworms . I am also new here and to your command. Regards.
Hi, i have a question, where do i get the meal worm grow bag? i am new too :)
@STEVESTEO - check out the wiki (top navigation on this page) and go to the equipment guides. Under the Open Bug Farm mealworm kit there are instructions for making the bags