WHAT IS THE "CLIMATE SMART ENVIRONMENT"?
In the Hive™, we created an optimal niche for our mealworms and beetles. With our technology of micro-controllers and sensors connected to a set of heat plates and fans, there will be the perfect climate condition at any time. With the dimensions of our trays, mealworms and beetles will live in high density surrounded by their feed.
WHAT CAN I FEED MY MEALWORMS? IS THERE ANYTHING I SHOULD NOT PUT INTO THE DEVICE?
Typical kitchen scraps that we would feed our mealworms are for example: onions, carrots, apples, potatoes, tomatoes, different fruits, roots, salads. They also love grain such as oats or bread. Basically, you can feed them anything. Just make sure that you don’t put in: moldy or rotten foods, soups or very greasy, oily or liquid substances, dishes that are very spicy or acidic. Also do not feed too much cellulose heavy foods (salads, grass). In general, just make sure that you feed a good proportion of moist and dry foods. We don't recommend feeding animal products to your mealworms such as egg shells, cheese or meat. Please also take care you don´t feed them things with pesticides on it. You have the power to control how healthy your food is!
HOW MUCH FEED DO THEY NEED?
This depends very much on the type of feed that you add as well as at which life stage your mealworms are. Rule of thumb is about half of a big apple and about two hands full of oats per drawer. You will soon find out how fast your mealworms eat. Just check in the first weeks of having it, as soon as the food is gone, you can feed again. Never let any food get moldy in there!
WHAT HAPPENS IF I FORGET TO FEED THEM OR GO ON A HOLIDAY?
Mealworms can live for several weeks without feeding. However, mind that this is a stress situation for your mealworms and they won’t be growing in the same speed as they would with normal feeding. If you go on a holiday, treat your Hive like an aquarium- have your neighbor come by once a week at least to check if it’s all alright. Another option is to put your worms and beetles in the fridge at about 8°C. They will fall asleep (hibernate) and wake up even after several weeks. Eggs, Babies and Pupae can be more sensitive to this.
IF I ONLY FEED THEM ON XYZ, WILL THEY TASTE LIKE IT?
Insects are very simple organisms and the type of feed you add does influence their taste. Be creative! But make sure your mealworms are still healthy when experimenting with different feeds!
COULD THE WORMS ESCAPE?
We designed the Hive™ so that the worms will be very well contained in the device and can not escape. That being said, they are still living beings and in some very unlikely case, it could happen that one or the other one finds its way out somehow. But don’t worry, unless they are a huge hoard, they won’t start breeding somewhere unwanted in your house and they are also not that hard to catch. They are all in all very lovely beings, relax!
DO I HAVE TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT ANIMAL WELFARE WITH THE HIVE™?
Every organism has to be treated with respect, no matter how large or small it is.
We are concerned with animal welfare at Livin farms and want to act absolutely protective of all the species that we deal with.
We designed the Hive™ in a way to fit with the Brambell 5 freedoms principle established in 1965 by the UK government. It outlines five aspects of animal welfare under human control.
- Freedom from hunger or thirst.
- Freedom from discomfort.
- Freedom from pain or injury.
- Freedom to express (most) normal behaviour
- Freedom from fear and distress
HOW DO I KILL THEM? IS IT CRUEL?
The best way is to put them into your freezer. Insects are very dependent on their outside temperature. In freezing them, their body temperature comes down and they start hibernating and die without stress. There is no slaughtering here, they go take a winter nap, something that they are used to in nature. Please make sure they are deeply frozen for a reasonable amount of time (minimum one hour), so they are not in the hibernation mode anymore.
HOW Much CAN I harvest in ONE WEEK?
You can harvest between 100 grams and 200 grams of mealworms per week. After cooking, unless other animal products, they will retain more or less the same volume. Adding this factor to the high fiber and protein content of mealworms, it will represent a lot of nutritious food !
HOW MANY MEALS CAN I MAKE OF ONE HARVEST?
We are typically getting out 2-3 mixed dishes out of one week´s harvest (e.g. risotto, lasagne or salads).
We have previously made 4 burger patties out of 100-200g of mealworms!
CAN I EAT THEM RAW? HOW IS THE FURTHER PROCESSING?
We very explicitly recommend to cook them before processing further. Please consider mealworms like any other type of animal product. If raw or undercooked, people can react sensitively to it. If you cook them thoroughly (in boiling water for a few minutes), they are totally safe to eat and process further. You can then fry them, roast them, mix them into sauces or all kinds of recipes. Be creative and have fun with this new type of food! Dried and ground we also use them as protein source in sweet dishes like granola or cookies.
WHAT IF I HAVE A BIG FAMILY, A RESTAURANT OR SIMPLY WANT TO HARVEST MORE?
For now, we recommend you to simply get more than one Hive. We are thinking about modular solutions for scaling up production. If you have a commercial restaurant project, please get in touch with us and we can design a solution tailored to your needs!
CAN THERE BE ANY ALLERGIES OR DISEASES FROM MEALWORMS?
Disclaimer: People with shellfish allergies might react sensitively to eating insects too!
The only allergies that have been reported to come from mealworms were from people sieving mealworms from their frass, getting in touch with a lot of the dirt and fine excrements. This is not the case when harvesting with the Hive.
Anatomically, mealworms are very different from humans, it is very unlikely that there are any diseases transmitted.
You are in charge of growing your mealworms healthy and feeding them responsible.
Livin farms does not take any responsibility or liability for the consumed harvest.
HOW DO I KEEP MY HIVE CLEAN?
In your harvest routine, you will have one harvest a week, after which you can take out the harvest area and put your pupae back into the pupation chamber in the beetle area in the top. This is when you can also clean out the fine excrements that will be collected during harvest in the dirt bucket.
Also, it is a chance then to clean the last tray before the harvest area, as it will be empty. Simply swipe it with a wet cloth.
WHAT CAN I DO WITH THE MANURE THAT IS COLLECTED IN THE DIRT BIN?
It is a valuable plant fertilizer! Put it into your plant bins and see your plants flourish and bloom. Almost nothing that comes from your Hive is waste.
WHAT KIND OF POWER SUPPLY DO I NEED?
You can plug your Hive into your normal power supply in your house, just like any other device.
WILL THERE BE ANY NOISE COMING FROM MY HIVE?
There will be a very mild humming from the ventilation and occasional vibration that is happening in the device. Apart from that, you will not notice your Hive. Of course, if you get really, really close you might be able to hear a tiny bit of mealworm wriggling ;)
WILL THERE BE ANY SMELL COMING FROM MY HIVE?
There are really only two sources where smell could come from: the fine excrements of the mealworms and the food that you place in the trays. Ideally, you will never overfeed your worms which should prevent any unwanted smell from rotten foods. The excrements are usually very dry which makes them almost odorless. Make sure you never feed too moist substances, then smell should be contained. The Hive has carbon filtration pads in the back and front of each growing tray though which air is ventilated. Therefore, occasional smells should be very well contained