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I have purchased bean beetles only once just out of curiosity and the need to diversify my feeder insects. The only problem was after splitting the culture they seemed to die off very quickly and then a day or two later the whole culture was infested with mites which then infected my fruit fly cultures and I had to do an emergency fly order. My question is, are bean beetles more susceptible to mites or did I just maybe get a bad or old culture from the guy I bought them from?
Thanks
Evan
 

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Hi Evan,

Adult bean beetles usually only live between 10-14 days after emergence so the crash could have been normal. If the level of beans is too deep in the culture, it will mold (due to the metabolic processes of the beetles). If you don't seive the cultures for the beetles all of the small bean pieces, waste material, dead beetles and/or mold can serve as a source of food for mites.

I only make a few cultures a week so I can stay on top of them and split them when needed. If you seive the beetles and small stuff out of the cultures, you should be able to put the culture back on the shelf and get another slightly smaller bloom out of it, 30 days later. After that I freeze the cultures to kill the beetles and discard (I actually feed them to chickens). I don't add new beans to the old cultures or old beans to the new cultures, I seed with only adults. I find that this gives me less problems over time.


Does that help?

Ed
 
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