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The Short and Sad Life of a Silkworm by Special agent Amber

Because of the chef at ferne animal sanctuary I became interested in silkworms, or the Bombyx mori. Because he came from South Africa the children have silkworms and they have competitions to see who can get the most complicated pattern. Now he lives here but he still keeps silkworms. He very kindly gave me six so I could look after them. Their house is a shoebox and because he had fed them on mulberry leaves I had to find a local source of them. Hestercombe gardens kindly let us have some but the t tree was too small. Luckily Forde Abbey has two trees and very generously let us go there as much as we needed to one of the ladies at Forde abbey she also came from South Africa and said that you could feed them on beetroot leaves and the silk is pink. They looked a bit like the concorde and ate loads. After about a month they start spinning silk and can produce 1000 yards of silk fiber in just 3 days. The really sad thing is that in commercial production the living cocoons are put into boiling water to get the silk. There are no silkworms left in the wild because they are 100% dependant on humans. My silkworms will not be put into boiling water and in 10-16 days they will hatch out as moths. The moths are blind, cannot fly and do not eat.  But they do mate and will lay about 500 eggs! The eggs should hatch after 10 days and I will have silkworms again.

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