I went through the coir fiber and retrieved a few hundred cocoons to put in my single tray with all of my Euros. If you remember I had some pretty mucky compost ( not all of it but some). I shredded up newspaper for the bottom of the tray under the compost, and shredded newspaper for above the compost in the tray so the worms and compost are surrounded by bedding. There is no manure, just composted leaves and garden plants plus 1 apple, a green pepper , a few rotting pole beans and a banana peel. Anyway, when I added the cocoons I noticed the material was warm! Do the worms generate their own heat? I have composted for 20 years now and I have never seen material like that heat up, it was already pretty well broken down. Maybe the castings from the worms are high in bacterial activity? Is the ink from the newspaper ( Washington Post ) harmful? Someone told me the newspaper ink is made from soybeans, is that true? I see online a lot of people use newspaper for bedding since it is so convenient. Thanks Jerry.
The answer is much simpler than what you were thinking. Worms do not generate their own heat (Cold blooded), the castings did not create a problem here, and the ink not a problem as it is soy based.
What you are experiencing is the nitrogen release in your scraps. You may not have noticed it before depending on the amount of food you put in, or the amount of nitrogen in the scraps you put in. It’s one of the reasons I always recommend pocket feeding only. If you have food throughout the bin, two catastrophic things can happen:
1. The bedding may heat up…creating excessive bedding temps for the worms (This is what you experienced when you put your hand over a hot spot and felt the bedding heating up.
2. The bedding can sour. You can create an environment too acidic for your worms.
Garden plants=High Nitrogen (Probably best composted in an outdoor compost pile).
By themselves, rotting green beans are usually not a problem, but when aded to high nitrogen garden plants, they have the potential to contribute to the heat your are experiencing in your bin.
Basically, even though you may not have a lot of food in your bin (I’m just guessing here), the food you put in your bin is the equivalent of a couple of matches. Depending on the size of your bin, and whether or not the worms can get far enough away from the hot spots, you may want to remove some of the warm scraps for now.