There is much debate as to why worms often try to escape from a new bin – even if it has been well prepared and left to mature with food and beddng for a couple of weeks beforehand.
One theory is that the worms just cannot process their food without the help of specialised aerobic microbes. These beneficial bacteria live in symbiosis with the worms and after being ingested together with the worms’ food, they multiply within the worms gut and then are excreted in their poop and are thus spread out, back into the food source – multiplying several thousandfold in the process. Once the worms’ food source has been covered by these microbes it is now ready for the worms to ingest – and so the cycle repeats itself. Food without the microbes is useless, but once established the cycle repeats indefinitely as long as the worms keep on eating and pooping to spread out the bacteria.
In a new bin the specific bacteria are absent at first – until the worms start pooping. The initial worm food without bacteria would seem sterile and inedible to the worms – and so many of them just hit out – probably looking for a better restaurant to meet their needs! However, after a few days of pooping the cycle picks up momentum and balance is eventually achieved and everyone is happy.
This is why it is always useful to dump in a small amount of fresh worm tailings (vermicompost) when establishing a new worm farm to give the bacteria a kick start. But just as importantly, make sure that the prepared bedding and food is not too wet and compact and is well aerated. Both the worms and their bacteria need a good supply of air to survive and prosper. Follow the link to see more at http://working-worms.com/what-about-the-workers-earthworm-versus-the-redworm/