If ever a hobby were to become all encompassing, entomology is it, the excitement of seeing that new insect that you've never seen before is fascinating.
The selling of insects has arisen out of the need to curb the exorbitent costs of heating and foodstuffs and to satisfy my craving for purchasing new and exciting species which can be brought into culture. Still, everything earnt within this fascinating pasttime is ploughed back into new cages and new stock or will go towards my future trips to far flung countries to find new species to bring into culture
And so to the future...will it be a constant adding of new sheds and garages to our already overcrowded back garden? .....No....I have a dream (though not quite as ambitious as Martin Luther King's...!) to build a site of interest to the public showing the largest array of insects and creepy crawlies under one roof in the UK , incorporating a large range of reptiles and unusual fish.
Will it happen ? who knows, the dream gets closer each passing year and with the support of all my friends in the hobby...it might just
We started breeding insects in 1998, starting with the humble stick insect, though this fascination with all things creepy-crawly really took off when we joined the PHASMID SOCIETY a truly wonderful society that furthers the study of stick insects throughout the UK and has links throughout the world.
The society shares out stick insect eggs to members on a free-to-good homes basis and frowns on the sale of insects bred from eggs originating from the society. Having reached the stage of 40-50 stick species, a chance purchase of nymphs of Creoboter meleagris, the praying mantis, led us into the wonderful world of the mantis.
In a short time the numbers of mantis and sticks grew to such a stage that my insulated 8'x5' outside shed became woefully small and drastic measures were called for......my wife came to the rescue with the idea of converting our 25'x14' garage....and so began the journey into BUGZuk...... the business/hobby all rolled into one!
That was 6 years ago....we have since moved to a larger house with a one acre garden and the first thing I built was a 60 foot by 15 foot shed in which to keep my ever growing stock of creepy crawlies. It is insulated to a high degree and has both a heating system and air conditioning. There are now nearly 14000 invertebrates in the shed !!!!! together with thousands of free flying fruit fly.
Each week we get through 5000 crckets, 20 kilos of bananas, 3 kilos of apples, 8 melons, 5 cabbages and an array of other vegetables
I have been breeding and selling insects for over 15 years now, and have become one of the foremost suppliers of invertebrates in the UK and Europe. Suddenly in September last year, without any warning, I was asked if I would bring some insects to a film shoot to see how a new 3d camera would perform. Little did I know that this 3 day foray into filming would lead to me making the sets and managing the behaviour of the invertebrates that starred in the recent natural history series Micro Monsters in 3d with David Attenborough.I have had an amazing journey, learning how 3d shoots work and trying to find ways of getting round the problems that filming in a studio causes with trying to obtain normal behaviour from the inverts. This in itself was both exciting and a real learning curve, but this peak was toppled with my first introduction to Sir David Attenborough.......to meet the man was a dream come true, to work with him, surpassed that dream ! I have sat down with this amazing man and just chatted for several hours over a pint of beer....what an amazing experience it has been, what an amazing man he is. And now, it appears my services are required again for another natural history series with the great man, with filming to start before christmas and the program to air in December 2014.......... I cant believe my luck in being involved with these projects
Micro monsters aired in June / july 2013 and was chosen as "pick of the day" for every part of the series, including the behind the scenes program. It was given 5 stars by all the major newspaper critics and has achieved acclaim from all who saw it....I am so proud to have been a part of that and I look forward to the next and future projects