We have returned from our extended travels after 2 1/2 Months to find our worm population at about 6…… I guess we will have to start over again with a new population????
FYI, we did feed about two weeks before our departure and added additional bedding but I suspect based on what we found on return inspection was the food supply was exhausted…..????
While I’d certainly be the first to recommend neglecting your worms a bit (typically better than too much attention), I can’t say I’m TOO surprised that most of them have disappeared after not feeding them for essentially 3 months. There are a lot of factors that can play a role here. The location of your system (indoors/outdoors), the average ambient temperatures while you were away, the age of the system (before you left), and how the system was set up could all have a major impact.
For example, worms in a newly set-up (enclosed, moisture-retaining) system containing LOTS of shredded cardboard bedding mixed with food, located indoors in a relatively cool spot would have a MUCH better chance of surviving than if the system was sitting in a really warm spot, with not enough bedding mixed in – especially if the system was already pretty mature by the time you stopped tending to it and/or it ended up drying out quite a bit.
I definitely wouldn’t give up on the material left in your bin by the way – perhaps there are lots of smaller worms and/or cocoons that you just didn’t see? Might be worth putting some new bedding/food mix on top to see if you end up with more (than 6) worms up in this zone. You might be surprised by the number of worms you end up finding there in a week or two (hard to say for sure, but probably worth a shot anyway).
Hope this helps!