AI Helps Black Soldier Flies to Lay Eggs

Even small improvements to large-scale industrial processes may result in very considerable gains in productivity. Recent study describes developing a mathematical model to help optimizing environmental conditions for maximum egg-laying by black soldier fly adults. While it remains to be seen how this model performs across a wide range of black soldier fly rearing operations, it is great that the scientific community proactively addresses this issue as insect farming is entering the agricultural mainstream.

Kobelski, A., Hempel, A.J., Padmanabha, M., Klüber, P., Wille, L.C. and Streif, S., Model-based process optimization of black soldier fly egg production. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 12, 1404776.

Black soldier fly (BSF) larvae (Hermetia illucens) serve as a valuable protein source for animal feed. Limiting factors in the industrial rearing of BSF are the reproduction process and egg output. Studies indicate the potential to shorten preoviposition time and increase egg output through better utilization of environmental variables, such as temperature and light, in industrial settings.Excessive stimulation, however, can lead to stress, elevated production costs, and reduced egg numbers, emphasizing the need for a delicate balance. This study addresses these challenges by investigating controlled manipulation of environmental variables to stimulate mating and enhance egg production, thereby developing a comprehensive model encompassing the adult fly life cycle, mating, and egg production. Model parameters were fitted using literature data, and the model's plausibility was tested through simulations. Using the model and optimal control methods, the calculated dynamic trajectories for environmental variables when compared to the standard approach in a constant environment demonstrated higher output and shorter production cycles at reasonable energy costs. Applications for this model-based optimization are demonstrated for various scenarios, highlighting the practical utility and versatility of the developed model. This study contributes valuable insights for improving rearing practices of BSF through environmental stimulation, offering potential advancements in egg production efficiency and overall sustainability.