Bean Beetles / Weevils - Keeping and Culturing

Culturing Fruit Flies, other Insects. Supplements and Dusting.

Bean Beetles / Weevils - Keeping and Culturing

Postby Philsuma » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:21 pm

Keeping and Culturing Bean Beetles/Weevils - Cheat sheet
(Callosobruchus maculatus)


***Warning the beetles & larvae are considered agricultural pests so please be careful if you intend to use these as a feeder insect and do not release these outside your house***


Bean beetles are easy to culture. Their larger size and prolific production make them a great alternative to D. Hydei as well as a valuable supplemental feeder insect. They are pretty much a must have in our hobby.

1) When you receive your new beetles, either make an additional culture using one half of the contents of your newly acquired culture or at least add fresh beans as soon as you can. Place approx 2 inches of black eyed beans (cheaply and easily found in any local grocery store) in the bottom of a clean, clear plastic deli cup – the kind we commonly use in the hobby for fruit fly culturing. Your culture may contain a wadded up paper towel for packing support and if it does, carefully remove any beetles from it and discard – as it is not needed.

2) Add approx 30 beetles from your main culture to the new culture including beans and any detritus that is in the bottom of the culture – not a problem. No need to try to make a “sterile” culture. Include all the debris and frass – discarded beans, dead beetles ect. Not a problem.

3) Keep the cultures high on your frog racks and try for a steady 80F temperature. Make sure you use ploy-fil or other ventilated lids as moisture and high humidity inside the container will rot the beans and cause harmful fungus.

• No water or food (other than the beans) is needed. Adult beetles live for about 10 -14 days post emergence, have no mouthparts and cannot chew or eat at all. Add a small, approx 1 inch layer of fresh, new beans every 3-4 weeks – right on top of the old layer(s).

• Beetles will lay their eggs on the beans. Once eggs hatch, larva will bore through beans and emerge as adults in approx 1.5 months. Beans can host multiple beetle larvae.

• Use a section of cardboard like an unused egg carton portion and place in the deli cup for the beetles to climb on. This cardboard feature will have added ability to act as an easy collection point from which to shake off the beetles into another dusting cup for feeding out. Beetles hold superfine powdered really well, also.

You may be tempted to discard a culture that you have not seen any activity from in weeks but you should not do this as there is always a delay – sometimes more than 5 weeks, depending on temperature and seasonal variances that will make it appear that the culture is dead when in fact, it may not be.

If and when you truly want to dispose of the culture, make sure you freeze it inside a regular refrigerator freezer for 3 days, before discarding.
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Re: Keeping and Culturing Bean Beetles / Weevils

Postby JJuchems » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:55 pm

Recommended disposal freeze time is 72 hours, not 24 hours. It can be found in other sources ;) but here is a quick one: http://www.beanbeetles.org/handbook/handbook.pdf
Later and Happy Frogging,
Jason Juchems
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Re: Keeping and Culturing Bean Beetles / Weevils

Postby Philsuma » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:16 pm

Bean Beetles.....a great supplemental feeder insect that everyone should keep. They are just so easy to maintain and they hold dust really well.

Yeah, they climb and escape a bit more than most FF species, but there are still great to have IMO.
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Re: Keeping and Culturing Bean Beetles / Weevils

Postby dtfleming » Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:13 pm

Stupid question,but are you talking about the dry beans or black beans in a can.
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Re: Keeping and Culturing Bean Beetles / Weevils

Postby Philsuma » Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:29 pm

Dry....in a plastic bag. Found in any grocery store.

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Re: Keeping and Culturing Bean Beetles / Weevils

Postby dtfleming » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:05 pm

Lol, tks. That's what I thought you were talking about.
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Re: Keeping and Culturing Bean Beetles / Weevils

Postby Natures Gems » Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:22 pm

thanks for the post phil it's always good to learn about additional food sources, especially with this degree of ease with the culturing. great to keep around just in case as well as an occasional change in diet.thanks again

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Re: Keeping and Culturing Bean Beetles / Weevils

Postby EntoCraig » Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:30 pm

I just got 7 cultures of these from a local hobbyist. Why had I not done these earlier! A great supplement food! the cultures are as booming as FF's but they are stable and are great if your FF cultures crash without warning... I feed excess to my fish. They are a bit larger the FF's so they are great for adult frogs. They may not be a ideal choice for smaller or younger frogs.
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Re: Bean Beetles / Weevils - Keeping and Culturing

Postby patrickwv » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:16 pm

where can you order these?
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Re: Bean Beetles / Weevils - Keeping and Culturing

Postby Philsuma » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:29 pm

patrickwv wrote:where can you order these?


They are actually considered an Agricultural pest, so there is supposed to be no shipping. Your best bet would be a local meet or perhaps that Pitt Reptile show.
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Re: Bean Beetles / Weevils - Keeping and Culturing

Postby Philsuma » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:07 pm

Bean Beetles are awesome. Is there any easier feeder to culture ??

Some frogs look like they are gagging on them, but in the end, after a few attempts, they all take them with gusto !
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Re: Bean Beetles / Weevils - Keeping and Culturing

Postby Philsuma » Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:39 pm

people are scared of these, but they shouldn't be ! These little guys are excellent to culture. Easy.
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Re: Bean Beetles / Weevils - Keeping and Culturing

Postby Judy S » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:16 pm

These suckers are FAST...and climb whatever they choose --UP.... They require some concentration on getting them into something to feed out of... My frogs really liked them...and then the cultures ran out...wish I knew of a way to stagger the production. And one last caution: MAKE SURE THE LID IS SUPER TIGHT ON THE LID...found that out the hard way....
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Re: Bean Beetles / Weevils - Keeping and Culturing

Postby phelsumaman » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:52 am

Hi Judy,
Staggering production takes a little effort at first however once you have this down you won’t even need to worry about it again (think of it as similar to getting your FF production schedule as you want it - once done just keep to the schedule).

For me the lifecycle takes approximately 6 weeks at roughly 70f. If you want a constant supply simply manipulate the temps of a culture to extend or prolong the development cycle.

I use these just as a supplement to my frogs diet now but when I used them more frequently I staggered production by taking used beans from a culture that had just finished booming & placing them into 6 different containers along with fresh beans. (I use cricket boxes as they are well ventilated and if sealed correctly the weevils can’t get out). Label the cultures #1 - #6. For ease I would place one culture somewhere warm (70f +) - this one will begin to produce first the others are placed somewhere much cooler (55f or thereabouts), one week after making these 6 cultures move culture #2 to the warmer location, the following week move #3 & so on, you will find that this will ensure that you have a regular supply as you have delayed the development of the larvae in kept in the cooler location - once they are warm you will find that they begin to develop normally again (providing you haven’t kept them too cool.).

I will add that this isn’t foolproof and you may need to tweak to ensure that there is an absolute constant supply but it’s much better than the boom/bust of just one or two cultures.
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Re: Bean Beetles / Weevils - Keeping and Culturing

Postby phelsumaman » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:55 am

Philsuma wrote:people are scared of these, but they shouldn't be ! These little guys are excellent to culture. Easy.


Agreed Phil - just make sure they stay out of the kitchen/larder. Im def more scared of my wifes wrath if she was to find these in her cupboards. Without a doubt the easiest PDF food to culture, buy weevils, add to beans & boom!

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Re: Bean Beetles / Weevils - Keeping and Culturing

Postby Judy S » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:24 pm

that's kinda what happened...boom...boom...bust...no beatles.... The frogs, both darts and tree frogs liked them, and they certainly were easy enough to keep....but my first experience with them was -- with perspective...amusing. I had gotten a good culture from Jeremy Huff...and having read that other cultures should be started..did so. Left the cultures on our tiny kitchen table...came downstairs the next morning as my husband was reading the newspaper spread out on the table..to see all the damn bugs crawling over the table...up the walls... Horrified, I asked what the hell--didn't you SEE all those bugs?? Husband's response: they weren't bothering me, I wasn't going to bother them. Always, ALWAYS check that the lids are totally, TOTALLY sealed....
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Re: Bean Beetles / Weevils - Keeping and Culturing

Postby Philsuma » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:27 pm

no different from FF - unsealed lids
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Re: Bean Beetles / Weevils - Keeping and Culturing

Postby Judy S » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:33 pm

Yup...good lesson...not fun...wanted to ax my husband...
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Re: Bean Beetles / Weevils - Keeping and Culturing

Postby rcteem » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:34 am

These do great for me and my leucs love them. I have had great success with culturing them if I keep them in a dark closet.
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Re: Bean Beetles / Weevils - Keeping and Culturing

Postby Judy S » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:03 pm

That's an interesting tip...is there a particular reason??
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