Working on a new mealworm setup By Brian on May 3, 2016

Mealworms grow quickly, but the growing and harvesting can take up a lot of time, depending on how many you're growing. We've got an in-depth post describing how we're doing it currently -- that'll be coming soon -- and we're currently planning a sort of v2 of our mealworm setup. The ultimate goal is to get it as close to self-harvesting as possible, with minimal time required by us to get the mealworms up and running.

We have plans.

The first step is a proof-of-concept for a container that allows the eggs and newborn mealworms to be separated from the mature beetles. This is necessary because in a pinch, the beetles will eat the mealworms. And since we want to eat the mealworms, we've got to put a stop to the beetles poaching our dinner!


While the previous setup involved a bed of oats in a plastic container that the beetles would live and breed in, our new, slightly more sophisticated setup involves stacking two of the bins, with the top bin having a mesh bottom. This allows the digested oats to be separated from the uneaten ones, and lets the baby mealworms fall through, into another pile of oats below. The movement of the beetles will -- hopefully -- jostle everything down to the mesh, where it will fall through.

Assembly of these versions was simple: I cut out the bottom of the containers we were already using, then hot-glued some screen-door mesh to the bottom. I also put a small piece of plastic on either end of the bin, so that when it sits on top of the lower bin, there'll be enough space for the younger mealworms.


Once I was finished that, I just upended the bins of beetles and they were in their new homes, with only a bit of vertigo. But dizziness is fun, beetles!


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