Separation is the key to keep your Mealworms Healthy and Productive
Separation is the key to a successful mealworm colony. Remember to prevent cannibalism you need to:
- Keep large mealworms separate from small mealworms (optional but recommended)
- Keep beetles separate from everything; eggs, mealworms of all sizes and pupa.
Rotating Mealworms with These Easy Steps…
- Place your mealworms into the first container (Containers 1) until the pupas appear.
- Pick out the pupas and place them into the egg cartons of Container 2. The beetles will crawl out of the egg cartons into the mealworm substrate below and lay their eggs.
- Every few weeks move both the pupa and beetles from Container 2 to a new container (Container 3, then container 4). The eggs left behind in Container 2 will start the next generation.
- Once you have used up all the mealworms in Container 1, keep rotating things through. If you need more mealworms simply add more containers.
- As described earlier the eggs are laid in the mealworm substrate. In this case “the gold is in the poo”, so don’t throw is out if you need more mealworms.
- It takes around 2 weeks for the beetles to mate and lay their first eggs, but after this period you can move the beetles and pupa to another container every few weeks or so.
- In this way you can create as many containers of mealworms as you require and importantly you separate beetles from other life stages and the mealworms will be of a similar size.
- To begin with keep a record of how often you rotate them through and how many containers you are using. Eventually you will know how many containers you need to maintain supply and how frequently to move the beetles to the next container.
- In container 2, the pupa can be separated from the beetles by placing them into an egg carton which is placed on top of the substrate. When they turn to beetles they will climb out and find their way to the mealworm substrate.
- If beetles are getting into the egg cartons from the substrate, you can raise them up using blocks or tape them to the side of the container. Some people like to have separate containers for pupa and beetles but this would require you to constantly inspecting and moving the beetles across to their container.
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