A Research Assistant and postgraduate student at the FABI Biocontrol Facility, Samantha Bush, attended the 20th International Insect Rearing Workshop at Mississippi State University, Starkville, USA, from 1-5 October. This workshop included topics such as artificial diets, environmental biology, pathology, genetics, insectary design and quality control. In addition, there were tours of insect rearing labs at the Mississippi State University.

The workshop provided a wonderful opportunity to make contacts with leading researchers in the topics presented, as well as with the other workshop attendees, each of whom has years of experience rearing insects. This year, at the workshop, Prof. Frank Davis announced his retirement as workshop coordinator. The workshop thus provided possibly the last opportunity to interact with a leading entomologist and genuinely warm person.

To get the full insect rearing workshop experience, during tea breaks, in addition to “normal” food, snacks using flour made from crickets or crushed crickets (legs, antennae, etc. could all be identified) were provided. Honey with the honeycomb from the University hives was also provided as a snack one day.