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Discussion Starter #1
I had a container of bean beetles that became moist (I'm guessing condensation from the temperature change, and keeping the windows open) and then moldy, and another at the same time that was perfectly fine (it was farther from the open windows). The beetles in the moldy culture were alive, but inactive; I got rid of that culture. Before I had this issue I tried my hand at starting my own beetle culture and seeded it from the one that became moldy and other culture, but now the new one is moldy. I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong (I had never made a beetle culture before)?

To clarify when I made my culture there was no mold yet (that I noticed).

Will temperature changes cause the cultures to mold? How should I store them? I have them sitting on my book shelf.
 

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In my past experience they prefer darker, cooler places. The temp/humidity change from the windows open is probably the reason the culture crashed. My guess as to why the new culture crashed is cause some of the old beans had mold spores still on them and then grew in the new culture. I would clean it and start an new culture from the good/old culture you still have.
 

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Yep, the beetles carried the mold spores with them and infected the new culture. I always freeze and toss any culture that becomes moldy and never reculture with bugs from inflicted culture.

I think Hogtown has beetles still. I messed around and let mine burn out too.
 

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How long did it take for the mold to show up? I've only had that happen to cultures when I was replacing only some of the beans and still had some beans in them that were months old.
 

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I've had mold also show up in cultures that I didn't remove most of the emerged beetles once the beetles die. There are a couple of potential causes of this issue,
1) there are too many beans resulting in the respiration released in the lowest levels of beans by the beetles increasing the humidity enough to allow it to mold.
2) too many left over beetles which gets enough moisture to accumulate around the beans when the beetles die off and the next generation begins to breath
3) adding new beans to an older culture. I think the main problem here is the same as number one or a combination of too much frass, bean depth, and dead beetles reducing air circulation.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, as this was my first time I put about an inch of new beans in and a falf inch of beans from the other 2 cultures (I thought that was the how it should be done) along with whatever beetles fell in. So I guess I fell into all the mistakes you guys mentioned.

I did freeze the bad culture after talking to you, eldalote2. I hadn't noticed any mold before I made the new culture, the mold was noticed a week later.

So what is the best way to culture the beetles?
 

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This thread may help http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/food-feeding/60638-bean-beetle-collection.html

The thing is to pay attention your cultures. The cultures will heat up as the beetles get closer to emerging, this also corresponds to an increase in respiration and moisture production. you need to make sure that the beans aren't so deep that the moisture can't evaporate and stays in the cultures. I keep my cultures in an area that stays fairly dry so I can stack the cultures and not have an issue with moisture buildup.
Try keeping the beans closer to an inch in depth, don't add new beans to the old and sieve the culture during the main period of production. I make the new cultures when I feed out most of the beetles which means I only have to add beetles to the new cultures and put them on the shelf.

Ed
 

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This thread may help http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/food-feeding/60638-bean-beetle-collection.html

The thing is to pay attention your cultures. The cultures will heat up as the beetles get closer to emerging, this also corresponds to an increase in respiration and moisture production. you need to make sure that the beans aren't so deep that the moisture can't evaporate and stays in the cultures. I keep my cultures in an area that stays fairly dry so I can stack the cultures and not have an issue with moisture buildup.
Try keeping the beans closer to an inch in depth, don't add new beans to the old and sieve the culture during the main period of production. I make the new cultures when I feed out most of the beetles which means I only have to add beetles to the new cultures and put them on the shelf.

Ed
There are a few different techniques, but I think the one Ed has outlined is the best. I used to add old beans, etc, but have been using his method for 5-6 cycles and am sold on it. It also has the added benefit of greatly reducing the amount of "bean powder" you have to deal with when harvesting the beetles. I use approx 1" of new beans, and 25-50 beetles and in 5 weeks I have a booming culture. I harvest the beetles and make a new culture. I keep the old culture for another week or so because there will be a second boom, then I freeze those beans for later disposal.
 
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