Raising a small scale Mealworm Farm.
At the end of 2011 I bought 10,000 Mealworms from www.nyworms.com. I received them a few days later and I house them in a 3 drawer setup.
The day they arrived!
The worms came in a Large box and there were 2 Bags with approx 5,000 or more worms in each. I then dumped each bag into a drawer with about 2 inches of Wheat Bran for bedding and them Cut a Potato up for moisture.
I usually feed them 2-3 time per week by cutting up Apples or Potatoes for the colony to get moisture. I cut the slices about 1/2 inch thick the length of the Veggie. I have fed them carrots and Bananas as well.
About a week Later
As the grew I started seeing Pupa. They are the 2 stage of life.
Then the Pupa Morph into Beetles.
I Currently separate my Beetles from the worms and the Pupa in separate drawers. I will soon be placing screens in the bottom of the beetle drawers and using Rolled Oats for the bedding just for the beetles,
When All of the Pupa Morphed into Beetles I decided to get another 3 Drawer Setup from Walmart for about $10. I also bought a strainer for sifting out the Beetles from the drawers.
How To Raise Mealworms 101
1. Need a container to raise them in. I would recommend the sides be 4-5+ inches tall to prevent escapes. Aquariums, Plastic totes, Butter dish, pretty much any Plastic or glass tub will work. The worms and beetles can not climb up these containers. You need surface area more than depth,
2. Bedding. I use Wheat bran on the worms and Pupa and Rolled Oats for Beetles. You can also use Chicken feed. Note: Either Freeze or Heat the bedding you use to prevent unwanted pests from taking over your Colony. Mites and Moths can destroy a colony,
3. Order your Mealworms and them add them to your Tote. They will reproduce quickly but the more you get the more you will have when they start reproducing. I would recommend 1,000-2,000 Mealworms. They come in Small, Medium, and Large. The Large will become Beetles much faster than the small but that is your choice.
4. Add a few veggies to your tote and watch them cover it! Make sure that you remove anything that they don't eat or is old. Mold is the #1 problem in the failure of Raising Mealworms. I recommend feed them 2-3 times a week and removing the old Veggies when giving them new.
5.Sit back and watch them grow! They grow very fast and the shed there skin quite often.
I will Update as my Mealworm Colony Grows!
DO NOT PLACE YOUR COLONY IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT! They will not survive. I will Put My Colonies out in our shop where my brooders are During the warm months Late April-Late September. They will not survive in cold temps. They grow faster the warmer they are. They will grow slowly at 55 degrees and grow fast at 100 Degrees.
WestKnollAmy and I are currently doing an experiment on growing them in our incubators and they are growing like crazy! I used old wipe bins without the lids for the test.
I have a control tub on top of my incubator with 75-100. I also have a tub with 75-100 in my Incubator. I will update when I can.
Feel Free to Ask any questions or take a look at the Mealworm Farming Thread