How many worms should be put in worm factory for starters?
First thing to consider when buying worms is: do I want to grow worms?. Or do I want to grow castings (i.e. make poop)? If you goal is to grow worms, start with at least one tray or multiple trays with only 1 lb of worms per tray. The worms will realize the space to grow and available food source and be encouraged to reproduce.
If you want to consume kitchen waste or any readily available food source to make castings quickly, then start with lots of worms. Like a 5 lb pack split into two trays. You can they eventually do both. Like split trays in half or quarters encourage reproduction. Or keep the density of worms high to encourage consumption. The worms will still reproduce to the capacity of each tray. But, lots of worms eat lots of stuff.
Can you mix earthworms and red wigglers in the same bin/home?
Earthworms are different than the Red Wiggler, Eisenia Fotida, or their cousins, the European Nightcrawler, Eisenia Hortensis. Earthworms are burrowing and do not eat as much as Red Wigglers. Also, they are quite migratory. Red wigglers naturally go up. And earthworms naturally go down. In my belief, you can put earthworms in the bin together. We have many who store earthworms in the worm factory for fishing bait. However I would suggest only doing this on a short term basis.
How does air circulate through these bins with them resting on top of each other? I don’t see any holes in them either.
There is a gap around each tray that allows air in. Also, the bottoms are mesh. We have a new and improved design coming out that has a vented sloped roof that draws air up through the bin. Worms can do quite well with limited air too.
Would these worms stay in a raised vegetable bed?
The red wigglers are compost eaters and not regular earthworms that burrow. Red wigglers will not run away like a regular earthworm. And red wigglers will do extremely well in your raised beds as long as you give them lots of organic matter to feed on. Consider the raised bed just an extra large worm bin that plants grow in. They will not eat your veggies. My biggest and best potatoes are the ones with worms crawling on them.
What temperature range can they be kept in?
Optimum temps is 40-85 degrees with 60-80 degrees being best growth temps. Worms will still survive to extremes maybe 20 - 95 (sometimes even more) degrees by just going dormant. Only minor protection will greatly help survival rate. Dry bedding during extremes really helps as bedding is insulation. The cocoons will survive even more extreme temps. Thus, allowing the population to re-develop if it dies off.