Praying mantis are ONLY available by preorder, and are shipped from March to May as quantities last.
Praying Mantis are amazing little predators, are an excellent indoor observation and educational tool. You will receive your Mantis as an ootheca - also called an egg case - which contain anywhere from 50 to 400 eggs. We do not sell adult mantis or mantis by themselves. Though not native, the Chinese mantis (Tenodera sinensis) is approved for release nationwide, so once your project is finished you can release them directly into your garden or naturescape if you desire.
Praying Mantis are lazy but impressive predators of certain farm and garden pests; they are not great for all-round pest management, however. They will not naturally survive the winter (without assistance from you), so they will not out-compete our native predators for their food. Watch them hatch from tiny eggs and grow over 700 times their original size within just a few weeks! They will live about 8 months in captivity if they are well taken care of, and much less so in the wild. The pests they eat are related to body size, so if you are facing a big infestation of certain pests, it's better to target those directly then try to harness the formidable but lazily exectured powers of the adult mantis. As always, we encourage nurturing your native predators such as ladybugs, wasps, and spiders, if you want a balanced ecosystem in your garden.
This is a less predictable project than some of the other living science animals, because ootheca can take up to 10 weeks to hatch (the longest we have on record is 14 weeks!) and there is also a 5% failure rate (5% of ootheca do not hatch). Please plan for a long wait.
They are VORACIOUS eaters at a young age, so if you intend to keep them indoors, you need to provide them with food: we sell flightless fruit fly cultures separately, which are a quick, easy and clean way to keep your baby Mantis fed.
Praying mantis are legal to release across Canada south of the arctic circle, though they will not survive the winter. Please consider your local ecology when releasing predators into the environment: they are not always beneficial in the wild.
Just add water! Triops are actual prehistoric creatures that have not changed in over 200 million years. Considered "living fossils," these make an excellent side project for your classroom or at home, or anywhere you can keep a small aquarium. Just fill your container with bottle spring water, and watch them grow from near invisibility into 2-inch aquatic critters!
Your kit will contain Triop eggs, food, instructions, and everything you need to raise them. Life cycle experiments can be repeated and completed by adjusting temperature and light levels.
Bees are ONLY available the week of May 16. We do sell out in advance, so please order early.
Mason and Leafcutter bees are just two of the roughly 4,000 species of bees native to North America. These, like many others found in Alberta, do not form hives and raise their offspring in solitude. Solitary bees are expert pollinators who outperform European Honeybees when it comes to pollination, as they are adapted to our climate and seasonal weather changes. Mason Bees are one of the earliest bees to appear in the spring, showing up just when the first buds are on the apple trees. Leafcutter bees are a summer bee, becoming active in June-July.
Our pollinators are in trouble - help by release bees in your yard, orchard or garden to boost native populations. Provide housing and shelter places for these wild animals, and you will find your garden will thank you. These bees will seamlessly integrate back into their natural habitat, helping to boost existing populations and diversify gene pools. Add to the experience by providing safe and secure locations for them to produce offspring.
MASON BEE COCOONS (10 cocoons) $19.00 - now available for preorder!
Other Living Science Projects
Enrich your classroom, home, or children`s life with some of our fascinating projects designed to connect you with your environment.
Praying Mantis - Red Wiggler Worms - Mason & Leafcutter Bees - Isopods
Raise your own colony of these amazing little backyard allies - actually not bugs, but tiny land crustaceans which breath through gills! Also called the rolie-polie, wood louse, doodle bug and potato bug, these fascinating arthropods are extremely simple to feed and maintain, guaranteed to reproduce in captivity with ease, and can cohabitate with red wigglers for a compost bin that is abut 3 times as efficient as worms on their own.
They eat typical household veggies and fruits, occasional protein scraps, and also chow down on detritus and decomposing plant material, so they make a fantastic in-class addition to the grade school unit Waste In Our World, or a wonderful home ally for reducing your metabolic gap through recycling. They are friendly and cannot climb glass or plastic, nor do they stink or bite and can be handled with care.
Isopods also do very well in reptile vivariums, though we caution against using these with other invertebrates that go through a molt cycle because we have observed they've got a bit of a protein fixation (though notably not for red wigglers: isopods leave those alone).
COMPOSTING ISOPOD SMALL SEEDER SIZE (10 Porcellio laevis composting isopods in a small shipping container) - $15.00
A cute lil 16oz container with 10 isopods of varying sizes, some substrate, and some food. Require rehousing within 2-3 weeks. Good for seeding into a vivarium or for observational science. Not an efficient size if you want them to eat a lot of your kitchen waste.
A cute lil flatbed container with 30 isopods of varying sizes, some substrate, and some food. They do require rehousing within 2-3 weeks. Good for seeding into a vivarium or starting/adding to a composting bin.
BULK ISOPODS - PRICE UPON REQUEST
Please inquire with us directly if you are looking to order large amounts of the above kits, or large amounts of bulk isopods: we will provide you with a quote based on bulk , and alternative packaging options.
Available year round.
Red Wiggler Worms (Eisenia fetida) are one of the best indoor composters there are. Compact, efficient, and odorless, they provide an excellent in-classroom enrichment project for a vermiculture unit such as Waste And Our World. They are also popular for use in homes to efficiently recycle your kitchen plant waste into a nutrient-rich organic fertilizer called vermicast, or worm castings. Worm fertilizer is a fantastic soil conditioner and proven to be lower in contaminants and higher in saturation of nutrients than plant compost alone - and can be used in houseplants or your garden. Worms are low-maintenance, cost effective, and earth friendly. All you need is an opaque box with ventilation to house your worms in, and a little bit of patience to get the worm castings out. Full instructions included.
Red wiggler worms cannot be released outdoors.
Comes with everything you need except the bin:1/2 pound of worms (that's about 100-300 worms, depending on their size) in 5 pounds of custom mixed substrate, including cocoons, mature castings, and some food. Also included is our very amazing instructions, and a lifetime membership to the Worm Rancher Club, which gets you all the worm advice you'll ever need from our laboratory experts.
BULK RED WIGGLERS - PRICE UPON REQUEST
Please inquire with us directly f you are ordering more than 4 pounds of worms (8 units): we will provide you with a quote based on bulk and we will set you up with some economic packaging alternatives.