Well, it’s That Time!

The mulberry tree is full of catkins. In just a few days, they will have dropped, and the little tender leaves will be ready to feed!

These are the eggs. I took them out of cold storage last night. They will take between 10 and 14 days to hatch; mine tend to hatch on the quick side, because I rear them in a warm room. The embryos are curled head-to-tail in a circle; later on, this will become more evident as they develop fully. Bombyx mori undergo diapause in the egg – similar to hibernation – they pass through the winter in a barely-alive state, and perk up when it gets warm again. Because they’re so thoroughly domesticated, these two states are “in the refrigerator” and “out of the refrigerator.”

Here, you can see the highly sophisticated and classy egg-hatching setup. Yes, it’s a salad container from a fast food place. There are probably eight or nine hundred eggs here; I just made a guess, selecting some from each of several different batches to ensure genetic diversity. As they grow and need more space, they’ll be transferred to big deli trays with lids.

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