I started vermicomposting about 5 years back with a small bucket of bedrun worms given to me and a "pound" purchased. We have added chickens and a horse since and I expanded the worm-farm. Currently I have about 200 square feet of worm-beds going. I have often wondered how many worms I have, but the wormies will not fill out census forms!
We have had spring-like weather and the wormbeds are starting to get active. Today I scooped out an area about 12" x18" by 6" deep and filled a 5 gallon bucket with this bed-run vermicompost. This was deposited into a wheelbarrow, mounded up like a pyramid and placed in the sun. It took about 4 hours of light sorting in the sun to get down to a mass of worms in a ball. Exciting finish to a long slow process.
I measured my worm-ball as I have seen on done on videos....... 2 cups worms/lb...... and got 5 cups or 2.5 lbs. I currently estimate my herd at 300lbs, or 1.5 lbs per square foot.
Do not dig through your bin to see what's going on unless you have a problem. The worms were traumatized and quite unhappy. My learning experience was their loss, and there were definitely casualties. I have not done this before and probably never do it again. The bedding raked off the worm-ball was put into a 10 gallon cloth grow-bag. This material was well wet and, when the worms were dumped back on top, they totally disappeared down in less than a minute. They had a very bad day.
I'm thinking of selling some worms on craigslist locally. How much should I charge for 5 gallons of bedrun worms (approx.2.5lb) and vermicompost and cocoons? I am thinking $40?? It would be a great worm bin starter. What do you think.... too much $ or too little? I am hoping to buy some more hay!