12. Apr, 2020

Worms in the Hotbin

Once again there are worms crawling up the walls and over the lids of the two Hotbins at the Stokes Wood Allotment Composting Demonstration site.

Although the Hotbin is a sealed unit  worms may be added to the bin the initial base layer during the initial set-up of the bin and worm and worm eggs  may be added  in soli attached to plants added to the bin during use. While the worms can survive, and self-evidently breed, in the  in cooler temperature of the base layer and there is often an  increase in the number of worms in the bin worm to sallow  breeding through the winter,  they are unable to survive the high temperatures inside the “working area” of the Hotbin where hot composting is taking place.

 Prior to the lockdown our bins where topped up to try to keep them at 50-60°C during the time that they will not be fed regularly

The photo shows the worms trying to escape from the heat. No doubt many will have descended to the cooler base,  but a significant number always make their way  up to the top of the bin and round the lid.

As they are not necessary for the Hotbin to work  they can be left to take their chances,   be put back in the cooler bottom layer or collected and put  into a cool compost bin or wormery  if one is available. A scrunched by empty compost of refuse bag can be put in the top of the Hotbin to provide them with a refuge. This can then be removed to the cool  composting system as an easy way of moving the worms.