This article will take you for an in depth look at the BioPod and talk more about the Black Soldier Fly - which I will call BSF for short. We are not so interested in the fly itself but in the grub - as that can be used for feeding your fish in an Aquaponics system.
The BioPods purpose is to produce the grubs which are a result of the 6th stage of pupation. This final stage is before it morphs into a fly.
The BSF larvae I'll sometimes refer to as grubs. They are often called phoenix worms or soldier grubs and are often sold live in pet food stores.
The adult BSF look less like flies and more like wasps. The BSF does not have any mouth parts, hence it won't be a problem around food and won't transmit disease.
In a typical worm farm or compost there are a variety of meats and foods that you would never put in there. But not for the BioPod - you can throw it all in, even animal manure, they love it and will consume it quickly.
The BioPod creates an ideal environment for the grubs and best of all they will harvest themselves conviently into a bucket when they have reached their final stage of pupation.
This gives you a system that very efficiently recycles wastes and in the process creates an excellent food source for a variety of animals.
Uses for the grubs
There are many many uses for the grubs. One of those is for feeding fish. In Aquaculture and Aquaponics, the grub is increasingly being used as a food source in order to reduce the use of fish pellets. It is also quite nutritional, being very high in protein. Other uses include feeding birds, repitles, chickens and a range of other animals.
Path of the grub through the BioPod
Here is a quick fly-thru of BioPod. After the larvae has gone through its 6th stage of pupation and no longer has a mouth, it will make its way up the 35 degree ramp.
Once it reaches the top, it will nosedive down the hole and end up in the collection bucket - ready for you to harvest it!
Storing the grubs for later use
During the warmer months you will get a much larger production and hence need to feed them more. If you have more then you need on any given day, then simply freeze them for the colder months when production isn't as prolific. By freezing them, you can have a plentiful supply all year round.
The liquid tea
Here is the filter located in the centre bottom inside the BioPod. The liquid flows out of the hole, through the filter and into the container underneath. The liquid can actually be used as a fly repellent for other flies except BSF which it will attract. This is the container which is removable by twisting it off. You can also use the liquid as a plant fertilizer.
In the removable cap that sits on the top of the BioPod is a gap that allows the BSF easy access into the BioPod. The BSF secreet a fly repellent for all other species of flys, so you shouldn't have to worry about filthy flys getting into your BioPod when you have BSF in there.
The BSF adult wont eat anything, as it doesnt have a mouth. Its only purpose as an adult is to mate and lay its eggs. The eggs hatch about 5-8 days later. The lifespan of the adult is very short, only about a week.
The BSF 5-star hotel
Your now looking under the cap.
The adult likes to lay its eggs either above or next to a food source. Under the cap you will see a white disc shapped object. This disc is the ideal place where adults will lay their eggs. The eggs will take about 4 days to hatch. When they hatch, they will fall into the food and start munching away.
Commercial BSF production and further info
If you want to produce grubs on a large scale, then there are commercial versions available. Today we have had a look at the residential version. The official website for the BioPod can be found at TheBioPod.com At the site you will also find a forum where you can get all of your BSF and BioPod questions answered.
Images - The Black Soldier Fly image is from Muhammad Mahdi Karim and the picture of the grubs is from TheBioPod.com