Effect of propolis extract addition to wheat bran substrate on the growth performance of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens)
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Insect-based meals such as Black Soldier fly larvae (BSFL) meal have shown promising results as aqua feed protein supplements. BSFL voraciously consume organic wastes such as wheat bran substrate. To satisfy the increasingly extant aqua feed protein demand, the growth performance of BSFL needs to be enhanced. Additives such as propolis (a honey bee product) have been explored as potent for enhancing growth performance of poultry. No studies have reported the effect of propolis on weight of BSFL and rate of development between life stages (larva, pupa to adult). The current study was thus aimed at establishing the effect of propolis addition to wheat bran substrate on BSFL weight and rate of development between life stages (larva, pupa to adult) of Black soldier fly (BSF). A 45 days experiment in which groups of 100 BSFL (1 day-old) each fed on 0.5kg of wheat bran mixed with 1L of tap water and treated with; 0g, 0.2g, 0.4g, 0.6g or 0.8g of propolis was conducted at Kajjansi Aquaculture Research and Development Centre (ARDC). The results showed that for the first five days, the 0.6g propolis treatment produced significantly the highest mean BSFL weight (0.094±0.002) while the control treatment produced significantly lowest mean BSFL weight (0.039±0.002). Ten days after larvae hatched, the 0.8g propolis treatment produced the highest mean BSFL weight (0.183±0.002) while the control gave the lowest mean BSFL weight (0.168±0.002). Conclusively, propolis is potent for enhancing the larvae weight of BSF. In order to increase the reliability of results, future studies ought to assess the effect of propolis on the proximate composition of BSFL and reproductive efficiency of the adult BSF.