My Mealie Project: Started
October 23, 2002.
The worm count purchased was around close to 300. It was one week later that the first worm changed to the stage before it
becomes a bug. At this time I only have about 20 worms which have not changed. The others are now in another box
of bran with driftwood pieces on top.
The first bug appeared about a week later.
And I noticed it died after living almost 2 weeks. Yes, I did know which bug because it had a torn wing. The wings
do not help them fly. I have seen then jump and flap their wings for a second. It is more just a little noise.
The bugs did love the potato placed face down on the bran for their moisture. The bugs do crawl all over the wood.
I have not disturbed the bran at all. I have no idea where their eggs are. I do see the bugs
Dec. 4 I saw the first new baby 1/8th
inch long worm! I have over 200 bugs, 2 unchanged old worms. To find the babies at this time,
with a knife blade I scooped a blade full of bran. To find them then you look to see if the bran pieces are moving,
and if so they are there. I wonder if the bugs are eating these small worms? To play a bit, I took 32 oz plastic
pop bottles and put 25 bugs in two bottles and 25 in the plastic box. That is where my bottles are laying on their side
with a top cut out and an air hole. Each of the 3 new places have a potato slice added. I would like to now take
out the bugs in the large plastic box, and put them in new bran and that should give the new worms a chance to grow.
Dec. 7 I did take out all
of the worms in the first bran box. Ya just can't see a thing. The bugs are still breeding.
I have 2 worms and 1 between stage critter left. I think bulk bran is the way to go. The bran does seem to be
Dec. 27 I now have 3
boxes of Mealies. Two are boxes only for the new worms, and one still has all of the bugs. I have not counted
how many bugs I still have, but I have found less than ten have died. The first box of baby worms is really a sight
to see. As I take my hand and lift a few inches of the bran and then mound the brand up, I see the whole mountain of
bran just swarming downward. The bran is just filled with the worms now. One piece of potato was almost solid
worms when I lifted it. Actually it was something like out of a horror movie. Those worms are almost an inch long
and now starting to get a bit more solid looking than clear.
The second box of baby worms is now really coming alive. The bran
when mounded up also is moving a lot now. I still see the bugs breeding. From reading the following links, I have
read that the bugs will live at least two months. One article said they would live nine months. We'll see!
***Have you started growing your Mealies yet? You are going to wish
you had when you see the Bluebirds around your boxes.
Jan. 5 The first box of baby Mealies
is really swarming around the potato slices. When I put my hand in the bran it is noticibly warm. I can actually
feel the heat from the Mealies!
Feb. 25 Lots and lots of worm babies! I now have 3 good size containers of worms. The bugs got moved to a new tub. They just won't die.
The first batch of babies have grown and now are turning fast to the second stage and I already have a small bowel of new
worms. I suppose if I had nothing to do, I could count the worms in the first box or wait until they turn into bugs.
To see how many worms are layed in about 3 weeks time.
One thing I find very interesting is that the second stage
pupa, many that have turned black and dried up. I am thinking this is from the new finer bran,
and also the worms could be sucking the moisture from them. I now am taking out the pupa as soon as I find
them a couple times a day, which is making a difference. Then when I find they have changed into a bug I move the bug
to the bowl. This is important stuff.
The other two baby tubs are just swarming with movement,
telling me there are hundreds and hundreds of worms. In the second box the worms are as
long as an inch. The third box was where I had the bugs, and though I would just keep them in there. But I noticed
the bugs going everywhere and very busy. I believe they were eating baby Mealies. The bran was also just
rolling with movement. The babies are almost too small to be seen. I think I need a bigger box!
June 1 I give! I give! Growing Mealies is way
too successful! Eight months after starting I found I still had 21 live bugs from
my original worms. I also had 6 containors and I really need more. I did sell about a half dozen Mealie Starter
Packs, which helped pay for this project. But even taking away Mealies I have toooooo many to handle. In places
in my box, the bugs can get two inches thick. I have tubs of baby worms which are starting to turn to bugs.
I found it is very easy to grow Mealies and you just
can't kill them. But, to do so I would suggest that you have lots of birds to feed, because
you will have many many worms. You also will need a space to place your boxes. To get many worms you need to work
in those boxes moving bugs to new bran after a few weeks which leaves the eggs to grow up and not be eaten by the bugs.
OR, use just a 5 gallon bucket and put in the starter worms, bran, and add a potato weekly and let whatever happens.
I don't believe this gets you quanity but should get you some worms.
I have to get my Mealies off my dinning room table
and end this experiment. I had fun but the fun of raising Mealies is over for me.