Let Them Eat Flies! KQED/QUEST (2014)

Insects are a hugely successful group of organisms. Their evolution transformed life on land immensely especially influencing flowering plant evolution. Insects also play a large role as food sources. Here in this KQED documentary we see how a fly farm in Ohio rears a common insect, the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) to be used as food for fish farms.

Some City farms have successfully been growing fish beneath the plants which helps recycling of nutrients reducing fertilizer use. Aquaponics is an ecologically efficient way to produce protein. Fish are cold blooded and thus don’t burn away the food they eat as body heat. Sheeps, goats and cows therefore require huge amounts of food requiring more agricultural activity. Tilapia fish performs very well in captivity. Black soldier flies is now an emerging new food source for Tilapia farms.

Moreover, flies can serve as excellent pollinators for certain agricultural plants where honeybees fall short such as onions. Honeybees dislike potassium rich onion nectar but when their hives are placed in the middle of an onion plantation they visit the flowers reluctantly. Honeybees will visit onion flowers to collect both nectar and pollen, but only nectar foragers will visit both male-sterile and male-fertile lines crucial for hybrid onion production. Apparently there is a huge need for domestication of new non-honeybee pollinators.

Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) 22 August 2010 Athens, GA, USA from Uzay Sezen on Vimeo.

 

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