I just finished feeding my spider horde,and I have developed a cruel strategy that gets the job done efficiently.
- Dump a large number of flies into a cup. I just invert a fly jar over it, and pitter-patter all the wingless Drosophila fall in like rain. I use a petri dish as a lid.
- Remove the foam plugs from a half dozen spider vials. No hurry, the spiders won’t leave, they’ve got nice webby homes in there.
- Incline the cup over each vial — the flies see this as an opportunity to escape, and begin streaming to the exit.
- It’s a race! As each fly reaches the lip, I use a paintbrush to flick them into a spider vial, move to the next vial, flick another in, etc. I cheer them on. “You win! First place! You escape!”
- The vials are criss-crossed with webbing. The spiders are not inclined to leave, and the flies are immediately snared and can’t escape.
- Give the cup a tap to knock all the flies back down to restart the race.
- Repeat until every spider has a frantically thrashing fly trapped in their vial.
I’m getting to the point where it only takes about 10 seconds per spider. The competitive aspect helps me get through it reasonably quickly. The labor isn’t the bottleneck on the colony, it’s mainly the space — I could easily fill up a half dozen incubators, I think.