[QODLink]
earthrise

Bee Fence

A little-known fact about the fear elephants have of bees may be helping to ensure their continued survival in Kenya.

Last Modified: 09 Jul 2013 12:14
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

In recent years, a successful conservation programme has seen the number of elephants rise in Kenya.

But there is a problem – marauding gangs of elephants are increasingly raiding farmers' crops and destroying property.

Already, some farmers have resorted to extreme measures including poisoning and shooting them.

But how do you stop elephants raiding crops without harming the environment or the elephant? The solution – to exploit a surprising fact: elephants are terrified of bees.

In 2009, experts from the University of Oxford and the charity Save the Elephants set up a trial project to test whether hives containing African honey bees could prevent elephants breaching farmland boundaries.

Monitoring elephant raids over three crop seasons, they discovered that 97 per cent of raids were aborted if the field was protected by a fence containing a beehive every 10 metres.

The beehives are suspended on wires between posts with a flat thatched roof above to protect from the sun in the traditional Kenyan style. So far, boundaries have been created for 17 farms, incorporating 170 beehives into 1.7 kilometres of fencing.

Russell Beard travels to the village of Voi located between two wildlife reserves, which often received unwelcome visits from hungry elephants.

Project leader Lucy King explains how the cunning fences were devised, and invites Russell to help build a beehive.

 
earthrise airs each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 1930; Saturday: 1430; Sunday: 0430; Monday: 0830.

Click here for more on earthrise.

297

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Critics claim a vaguely worded secrecy law gives the Japanese government sweeping powers.
A new book looks at Himalayan nation's decades of political change and difficult transition from monarchy to democracy.
The Church of Christ built a $200m megachurch while analysts say members vote in a block.
US state is first to issue comprehensive draft regulations for the online currency, but critics say they are onerous.
Survivors of Shujayea bombardment recount horror tales amid frantic search for lost family members.
join our mailing list