Leveraging IoT for Improved Monitoring of Black Soldier Fly Incubators

By: MAKENA Sandra


Black Soldier Fly (BSF) farming is presently the most widespread form of insect farming in the world. With the move to use more sustainable farming methods the rearing of BSF has become an instant hit with farmers. It is currently being used in the development of agricultural inputs, such as insect-based protein for animal feed for chicken, pigs and fish and organic plant manure (compost). 

Under completely controlled climate conditions, the eggs hatch very quickly into tiny Black Soldier Fly larvae which immediately begin feeding on organic waste. Uniform temperatures of 27°C to 32°C and humidity levels of 65-75% are needed to allow hatching of all the eggs within the three days they are in the incubator. Temperatures below 25°C or above 35°C, and humidity levels below 50% and above 80% fall out of the ideal conditions and would lead to a low yield or slower hatching of the eggs. If after three days the eggs have not hatched, they will have to stay in the incubator for another 5-7 days. This delays the entire process by days or weeks. In a quest to optimize hatching of eggs and ensure 100% harvest, monitoring the BSF incubator is necessary. The data collected can be used to quantify successful harvest.


So far I have been able to develop an IoT-based room monitoring system using Sigfox LPWAN as the transmission technology. The system was deployed in an incubator at GreyStones Farm in Nanyuki. We have been receiving temperature and humidity data from the time of deployment in December 2021. I also developed an Express JS web application  to visualize the sensor data.

Next Steps

The next phase of this project is to implement the sensor monitoring system using GSM as the data transmission technology. I will also host the web application and database on KENET servers