Ground Bees and Bench Cutting

 

Today I was reminded that bench cutting trail is incompatible with ground bees. After an excellent meeting with the Bald Mountain Recreation Area staff and start/finish planning for the Addison Oaks Fall Classic I headed out to River Bends to do some trail work. We’ve been building Lazy River, a new-ish section of trail designed to repair / replace what was lost when ITC cut a corridor to replace an eroding high tension power line tower.

One portion of this trail segment is a flowing, switchbacky downhill followed by a short, but slightly punchy climb. To make this roll nicely it needs to be bench cut, and with last night’s rain I figured it would be a great time. Despite being hot and mosquito-y, everything was going great… until I hit the bee nest. Suddenly the bees began flowing out of the ground and I got stung while running away. A few run-by passes to collect my tools and I decided the day’s work was done.

This unfortunately means that about 12′ in the middle of the trail has been left unbenched with some nicely churned soil right in the middle of the nice line. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to it another day soon, armed with something to handle the bees.

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