As with each year, I am able to spend time with my family on holiday. And, we often go to the beach. We have a great time and the kids, at their ages (10 & 13) are less dependent on "Dad" to make it through the day. But, we do have a fun time.
Of course, with greater independence, "Dad" finds himself unoccupied- which means he has time to read a bit of BSF literature, reply to email, and when the time is right- read something fun.
For this trip I am reading "Thomas Jefferson- The Art of Power" by John Meacham. For those that do not know me personally, I truly enjoy reading world history, and I have a special interested in USA history prior to 1861.
But, like I said, I always have time to read BSF literature, which leads me to today's topic- adult matting.
We all know the "heartbeat" of any BSF production facility is the adult colony. If you do not have adults that mate and lay eggs in a predictable pattern, projecting BSF production/waste conversion is extremely challenging.
What is most interesting is that we recognize this massive limitation, but very little adult biology research is being conducted. I would say there are probably less than a dozen papers on this topic. In fact, I am only aware of one study that actually investigated some aspect of adult biology under somewhat natural conditions.
Tomberlin, J. K., and D. C. Sheppard. 2001. Lekking behavior of the black soldier fly (Diptera: Stratiomyidae). Fla Entomol 84: 729-730.
Here is a freshly printed paper on adult BSF mating behavior and egg production in a colony.
Hoc, B., G. Noël, J. Carpentier, F. Francis, and R. Caparros Megido. 2019.Optimization of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens)artificial reproduction. PLOS ONE 14: e0216160.
The major findings from this article:
1. Increased male numbers accelerated the rate of egg deposition- meaning, females deposited eggs quicker.
2. More males equates to greater hatch rate.
I cannot emphasize this point enough- we need more research on this topic. So, for any researchers out there- send me an email if you are interested in collaborating on such an important topic.
Insects as Food & Feed in the News...
Protix Opens New Facility- A great accomplishment for Protix. They like a few others are making great progress with industrialization of the BSF.
Massive Funding for Research on Insects as Feed- great news for colleagues out of the Netherlands! Keep up the great work and best of luck with your research.
Enterra Mass Production- A nice story on Enterra's endeavors in Canada.
Insect-Based Ice Cream? Why not! - It is quite impressive to see what can be done with insects as far as food. It is no longer simply grow... dry... eat whole.
Jeffery K. Tomberlin, PhD, History Geek
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Individuals with over 25 years research experience with the black soldier fly. We are passionate about the science behind the black soldier fly and its ability to convert waste to protein.
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