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Posted by iwana on May 08, 2003 at 20:12:58:
I am trying to set up a wax worm colony and so far, am not being very successful. My first attempt was pretty much a disaster because my substrate was too dry and I overheated the worms. This time around, I did a lot of research on the internet and I am finding some conflicting information, so I'm not sure if I'm doing it right this time. I get the feeling that I'm doing something wrong again, because after only one day of introducing the worms to the substrate, there are already 5-6 of them that are turning black, out of 100. Moreover, none of the worms seem to be moving very much.
I found a recipe on the internet that says to mix together 1,200g of Gerber's baby cereal, 100 ml of boiling water, 100 ml of honey and 100 ml of u.s.p. glycerin. The only boxes of baby cereal I have found were 227g each, but since I already have a ton of red bran, I used my kitchen scale to see if I could come up with 1,200g. I then thought that the recipe must not be accurate, because that seemed like an awful lot of cereal for the amount of liquid used.
So I did some more research on the internet, without any further luck. Most agree to mix some bran with some honey, some say to add glycerin, some say add glycerin with water, then mix to get the consistency of moist sawdust, or clumpy granola, etc.
Anyway, I ended up just using the first recipe but using about 250g of bran, since I figured that was about the equivalent of a "normal" box of baby cereal. The mix I came up with is clumpy and a bit sticky, but I wonder if it's *too* moist. I'm sure if I went ahead and used 1,200 g (which would be 1,2 kg!) of bran, there wouldn't be a whole lot of moisture left!
So what could be killing the worms this time? The substrate, or maybe the source of the worms? Or is it normal for a few to die? They were kept in a refrigerator at the pet store, so mebbe some just didn't survive the "thawing" process? Also, how can one tell if the worms are healthy? They hardly seem to move at all, yet I'm keeping them warm (low to mid 80s). Is that normal for wax worms?
Someone please help!! LOL