Mealworms are the larvae of the darkling species of beetle. If you look at these tan slimy creatures, you certainly wouldn't think of munching on them. However, birds look at them and think, "Oh yummers!" If you want to sell mealworms to bird lovers, you can find a great market for theses larvae.
Raise the Mealworms
Obtain starter mealworms from a local bait shop or buy them online at the Beetle Barn.
Put crushed wheat or wheat bran in the bottom of a container about 1/4 inch deep. Add your starter mealworms.
Crumble newspaper and put crushed pieces of apple or potato on the top of the paper. The moisture in the potato or apple is enough fluid for the grubs. Change the paper when necessary.
Care for your mealworms, keeping the adult darkling beetles in with the larvae because this environment is good for all stages of the beetle's life. It takes about a year to get a good crop going from your starter mealworms.
Market the Mealworms
Develop a website or start an account on eBay to sell the worms. Many bird lovers prefer to purchase online.
Choose the method of transport that best suits you. You can freeze dry the meal worms, package and sell them live or can them. Most people opt for the live mealworms, since they're easier to transport.
Take a packaged container to the post office and request the cost to the furthest are from you to determine shipping. This gives you a guarantee that you spend no more than that amount on shipping. Calculate the cost of packaging the mealworms before you establish the price for online bird lovers.
Track the expenses that you incurred in raising your mealworms. This, plus your original investment and the cost of packaging should be divided by the number of containers of worms that you reap. This gives a cost basis. Double that amount for your profit. If you give a money back guarantee, or replacement guarantee, add an additional amount equal to half the cost of the worms.
Check with local pet shops to see if you can sell the mealworms, which they, in turn, sell to bird lovers. You need not remove the amount that it costs to package for shipping since hand delivery also involves expense. However, your price should low enough to allow the pet store to make some money, too.
Include an instruction sheet on keeping the mealworms alive. Make certain that you include the fact that they must be kept at a 40 to 50 degree Fahrenheit temperature. When you sell mealworms to bird lovers, don't expect them to know all the information or they would raise the worms themselves.