Preface - The Shipping ProcessConsider the dangers of wearing wet clothing in cold weather. The same clothing, if dry, would keep you perfectly warm. Or consider touching a hot pan with a wet oven mitt instead of a dry one. It'll burn you pretty quick!These same principles apply when shipping worms across the country. The more moisture in the shipment, the more susceptible it is to temperature extremes.To pull off the feat of removing worms from the earth and shipping them through the U.S. Postal System, worms are dehydrated as much as possible to mitigate temperature related mortality rates.So, if I have done a good job, your worms will arrive looking quite dehydrated, but alive!Step by Step Process -Adding Worms to the BinStep 1: Using room temperature water, mix water with the worms and peat moss to bring it up to a moisture level similar to the feel of a wrung out sponge.Step 2: Lay the moistened worms and peat moss over the bedding in their new worm bin.Step 3: Leave a dim light overhead to help encourage the worms to burrow into their new environment.Step 4: Wait and watch.By giving the worms the option to burrow into their new bedding or not will allow them to communicate to you if they approve of it or not. If they dig in, they approve!If it has been longer than 30-60 minutes and the worms are avoiding the new bedding, or even trying to climb out of the bin, there is likely an issue with your worm bin that will require some urgent troubleshooting. Give me, or a trusted expert, a call to help figure it out!*Note that in winter months, the worms can be lethargic after being so cold in shipment so it may take them longer to start moving.
The Next Couple of DaysIt is advisable to keep a light on overnight over your bin for the first night or two as worms will sometimes wander, looking for their old home as I imagine, after being re-homed. This is never a consistent problem and will not last longer than the first 1 or 2 nights. If, after that time, they are still trying to escape, it means there is something awry with your bin that you need to look into.Also, you CAN add food right away, but it will likely take about 3 days for the worms to start eating any foods. This is because most new bins do not have a microbiome established yet, but after a few days the bacteria, fungi, and protists should have populated the bins and the worms will start chompin away!After these few days you should have a pretty solid foundation to your worm composting journey!