How an Insect Obsession Started
From a young age I had a fascination with wildlife, especially reptiles and insectivorous animals. This curiosity led me to become a biologist and a passion for keeping and breeding native wildlife, sustainability and Aquaponic systems (fish and plant production).
As a biologist and naturalist, I started a conservation group with a good friend to conserve Quolls, which are the marsupial equivalent of a cat (See adjacent photo-Northern Quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus). This rehabilitation of orphaned Quolls which was costing a fortune in live insects. To add to my hip pocket woes, were a growing number of pet monitor and dragon lizards and a desire to develop a sustainable food source for my aquaponic systems.I also led a team of scientists to do do a research project for this species with the Sunshine Coast University (SCU).
The solution was to breed insects (crickets, mealworms, cockroaches) myself and save $$… or even better turn an expense into income. The only problem was that I had a full-time job, a young family and not nearly enough time to breed insects using the messy and time consuming methods available at the time.
Through necessity I developed new techniques over many years which has greatly streamlined the process for crickets, mealworms and woodies. Crickets were particularly high maintenance and we developed new methods for this species. Now breeding crickets can be bred with around the same amount of effort as cockroaches or mealworms.
As word got out that the “Insect Man” had lots of excess insects, it led us to breed insects to Zoos, Wildlife Parks, Reptile Carers, Wildlife Rescue Carers, Pet Stores and General Public. As a wildlife carer and naturalist, I have always wanted to help others receive the same financial benefits that I received after becoming an independent insect breeder.
Insect Training Services
The above led us to develop our first website WildlifeHub.com to train people how to breed insects and eventually BreedingInsects.com. These websites provided advice how how to breed insects and a platform to offer our comprehensive book and video series. We now have extended this to our membership based subscriptions which provides a comprehensive range of resources including; books, videos, research, partnerships and consultancy services. We plan to extend this further down the track to include a directory and marketplace for insect products and services.
BreedingInsects.com was the next evolution for us…we expanded to undertake insect by bench marking production rates and costs for commercial production and bench marking our proprietary insect breeding systems. These new systems we plant to develop into flat-pack and sell around the world.
We also started our Partnerships program described below:
Consultancy and Partnerships Program
We now offer consultancy service for those who want advice on how to set up commercial insect farms. We also offer a free advice service with our popular partnership program. Our experience relates to the common House cricket (Acheta domesticus), Yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) , Super mealworm (Zophobas morio) and Speckled/Lobster Cockroach (Nauphoeta cinerea) with and without climate control.
A partnership arrangement is a program we have developed where we provide free advice and assistance in setting up a insect farm or sustainable food venture, and the partner share production information (production rates, expenses, income and learnings) for a negotiated period of usually 12 months of production. In this way the partner gets free advice to get them to the next step, and we get information about he economics of insect businesses and their learnings. We now have partnership programs right around the world.
As the years went past, inquiries into breeding insects for human consumption grew and we started to breed insects to feed fish in our aquaponic systems. Furthermore, my passion for developing sustainable food and energy sources was growing. Breeding insects efficiently was no longer enough…I now wanted to breed them sustainably using renewable energy and food. To do this I worked with solar, insect and aquaponic businesses or consultants. As luck would have it… the sustainable food sources I discovered in the aquaponic industry were also a sustainable food source for insects. Or to put it in another way “we have a closed circuit” or a sustainable and cost-effective food source for both aquaponics and insects. As amazing as this seemed at first, nature had worked this out billions of years ago…I had just reinvented the wheel!
This new direction in sustainable food and energy we plan to develop a dedicated website soon to insects as food. This website will be dedicated to help people find products, services, contacts and information relating to the edible insect industry. We have a strong focus of improving the efficiency of the insect industry through research, education, Innovation and Partnerships. We are continually researching new breeding methods and ways to reduce expenses such as energy and sustainable food sources for both insects and the aquaponics industry.
We hope that the many years of trial and error we have undertaken will help you follow your passion, make you money or feed your family. To get you started all you need to do is go to Getting Started Section.
Above all have fun, and I hope you and your animals enjoy a productive and successful breeding insect colony!
Bachelor of Applied