I have started raising mealworms. However the way I was taught to raise them would - according to some misconceptions I have read - have killed them. They are doing fine. I thought I would share because some people are accidentally killing their beetles.
The misconception I noticed is the false belief that 1. Beetles only live a few weeks and that 2. Moisture will kill them. This cannot be further from the truth. Beetles will survive for months if they have moisture- both from vegetable matter and from a paper towel, wetted daily for them to drink from. My beetles, as soon as I put water on the paper towel, come across their container for a drink. The reason some people believe they die after a few weeks is because their beetles dehydrate and die.
(Now I have heard that fungus is a problem with moisture- but I have not had this problem. I know little about fungus so would be unable to say why it has not been a problem for me- perhaps because my mealworms are raised indoors at room temperature?)
Now I'll just share my way of raising mealworms in case anyone is curious.
My mealworms are in a plastic container. I have used both wheat bran and oats, but they seem to grow faster in the oats. I slice a potato and put it on the oats- just leave it. It will get discolored when it dries, but for some reason they keep for weeks without molding (again, I do not know why, but this is the way the lady I got them from raises hers, and this is how I raise them). I keep them inside at room temperature in a dark place. I put a paper towel in the container; every day put a few drops of water on it; or more if you have many beetles. Leave the towel- it will dry and you can wet it again the next day.
Recently I was unable to get water to the mealworms for about five days. Some died of dehydration. I just wanted to share, because it saddened me to think that people are accidentally killing their insects.