Integrated Pest Management Initiative
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Insect Mass-Rearing Workshop

​​​​​​​​​In 2017, the Insect Mass-Rearing Workshop was hosted by the IPM Initiative, Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Stellenbosch University. This was the first course covering the aspects of insect rearing in South Africa. 

​This workshop was modeled after the International Insect Rearing Workshop (IIRW) held annually at Mississippi State University, which celebrated its 20th session in 2017! The IIRW was founded by Dr. Frank Davis, Dr. John Schneider, and Dr. Norman Leppla who encouraged and supported the South African Insect Mass-Rearing Workshop.​ 

In 2018 we were privileged to have Peter Ebling, who was also involved in the IIR Workshop, as our international speaker. He was responsible for Insect Production, Quality Control, Quarantine and GLP programs, and activities supporting the commercialization of baculoviruses as pest control agents for Natural Resources Canada​

The Insect Identification Service (aka BlueBug) has taken over the responsibility of hosting this course from the IPM Initiative. In 2023 we will have various guest lecturers as well as the return of Dr. Norman Leppla! Dr. Leppla will be giving an online presentation (Quality control) and a virtual tour of his lab at the University of Florida. Dr. Allan Cohen, who specializes in insect nutrition and diets, will also give an online presentation and lab tour from North Carolina State University. All other talks will be in person.


~ Principles of Insect Rearing~

06 - 10 March 2023

The course is aimed at Insectary managers and production staff; Students (undergraduate and postgraduate); Postgraduate supervisors; Industry role players and stakeholders; Biological control industry representatives; Legislative representatives; and Marketing strategists for the agricultural industry.

Attendees stand to gain valuable knowledge, skills, and experience that is otherwise lacking in South Africa at present. By hosting the course, we aim to build research capacity in South Africa and other developing countries in the field of insect rearing. Most of all, we hope this course will lead to the establishment of a strong network of insect breeders in southern Africa who will continue to share expertise and best practice advice for many years to come. ​

​Academic organizer

​Prof. Des Conlong,  Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Stellenbosch University​​

Logistical coordinator

​Caro Kapp, BlueBug Insect Diagnostic Service, Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Stellenbosch University​


  • Allen Cohen (North Carolina State University) – Insect Nutrition and Diets​​​​
  • Chesné Geldenhuys (XSIT) – Management of an operational SIT insectary
  • Denise Gillespie (SA Sugarcane Research Institute) – Health and Safety
  • Des Conlong (Stellenbosch University) - History of insect rearing in South Africa, and future prospects
  • Erenst Hugo (XSIT) - Managing and controlling airflow and environmental conditions in a commercial insectary
  • Justin Hatting (Andermatt-PHP) – Insect pathology
  • Koot Pieterse (NMU, Retired) – Process management
  • Martin Wohlfarter (Koppert, The Netherlands) – Problems encountered in insect rearing for SIT
  • Minette Karsten (Hortgro Science) – Insect genetics
  • Nevill Boersma (XSIT) - Mechanisation of mass rearing technology in an operational SIT insectary
  • Norman Leppla (University of Florida) – Quality Control
  • Terence Asia (Phyla – HortGro Science) – Insect colony management​


The program will be uploaded as soon as it has been finalised

Registration link

The link for registration will be made availble soon

Photos of previous years​​

Participants 4.jpeg