One of the best things about beekeeping is that it forces me outside. Especially in winter, when I might otherwise stay indoors, I’m compelled to monitor my hives.
Yesterday, after a brief hive check, my husband and I were wandering in the rain looking for a place to mount the native bee housing we are building. Suddenly he pointed, “Have you seen that?”
I was shocked. Near the creek a tree was down, felled by beavers. When did it happen? I stroll past there nearly every day but never noticed demolition in progress.
The trunk is about a foot across at the base. The beavers severed the tree about ten inches from the ground, shaving it apart in large chunks that now ring the stump. The tree snagged on some young alders as it fell, so it never hit the ground. A handful of splinters still connects the two major parts.
What amazes me is how long the tree stood, based on how much is left. The beavers worked all around the perimeter, leaving only the very middle intact. It was a large tree to be left on such a small pedestal, but the beavers obviously knew how far they could go and when to skedaddle: no pressed beaver parts littered the scene.
You can see thousands of tooth tracks in the wood and just imagine the diligence this kind of sculpture requires. And I thought bees were persistent . . .