Waxworm Care Sheet
Waxworms are known as the candy of the feeders, given only as a treat due to their high phosphorus and fat content. They are white, wiggly and are irresistible to most reptiles. Many people find it hard to culture their own waxworms, they usually trip up on the culture or end up using expensive bee pollen which makes it not so worth while. You will find that your own waxworms will be bigger, faster and produce a fine sticky silk which they cover everything with and can be quite a pain.
 Housing and Heating Waxworms
You will want to house them in something like a tall jar but any plastic container will do fine. The lid will need to be a fine mesh such as cloth to provide ventilation but help prevent escapees. An elastic band can be used to hold it in place. Add a layer of culture (see feeding below) to the container, the amount doesn't really matter as you can always add more later on. Cut some strips of corrugated cardboard and lean them against the wall, this is where the moths will lay eggs. Add about 25 waxworms or pupae to each tub and wait for them to emerge as moths. Moths will only like a few days but they will lay plenty of eggs. You may want to remove the empty pupae shells and dead moths to stop them moulding.
Waxworms will do fine at room temperature although a slightly higher temperature will accelerate growth. Just like mealworms they will last for nearly four months if kept in a refrigerator.
 Feeding Waxworms
There are two main ingredients to a cheap successful culture, weetabix (cheap supermarket brand) and honey. In addition Calcium powder and vitamin powder will improve the nutritional value of the waxworms. To prepare, crumble the weetabix really fine and add honey until you have a soft crumbly consistency but not soggy. A good rule of thumb is it should hold itself in place when pressured but also crumble when rubbed. It may help to warm the honey a little until it is runny and at this point you can mix in a bit of calcium and vitamins.
This culture can be stored in the fridge until you want to use it but it is probably best to just make what you need.
The more expensive culture is pure simple bees pollen, you can buy it from drug stores for around Â£3 per 100g. I had a bag of this stuff and kept it near a culture, one day I noticed there was a hole the bag and when I went to investigate there was 5 giant waxworms inside. There is no doubt bees pollen is the better of the two cultures.
 Harvesting Waxworms
Due to all the silk and feces culturing can be quite difficult. The most effective way I found is to use a tray and empty the mass of culture and waxworms onto it. Spread it out thin and extract the waxworms one by one. As you can see on the right there are photos of what used to be a honey weetabix mixture until it was processed by the waxworms. This block of feces is quite well held together by lots of fine silk that the waxworms have produced.
 Breeding Waxworm moths
After setting up the culture there really isn't much more you can do except sit and wait. Moths will mate, lay eggs and die off. After a few weeks the eggs will hatch and there will be hundreds of teeny, little, fast-moving waxworms. After about 2 months the hatched waxworms will be massive and ready for culture.