As we are growing carrots in an isolated environment we will need to introduce insect pollinators. It is likely our enclosures are too small for bees so an alternative is the Blue Bottle Fly (Calliphora vomitoria) – I’ll let you work out the Latin!
We can purchase fly larvae through the Internet, but ongoing purchases could get expensive and shipping to Canada is limited and expensive. Thus we are exploring breeding the flies ourselves.
Jen and Craig had good luck attracting and breeding flies last year and they seemed to do a good job of pollinating. They had particularly good luck with road kill as a fly attractant! When visiting their farm I could clearly see the flies visiting many flowers in the enclosure.
So we could start with Blue Bottle fly larva or just attract local wild flies as pollinators.
One way to attract and breed the flies is by leaving out meat to rot – as above. This can also attract carnivorous predators such as coyotes which could damage the isolation tents and be a hassle on farms. Thus I am experimenting with a dog food/milk recipe to attract flies without a strong odour.
The dog food/milk mix is mixed and out so I’ll keep you all updated on progress!