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An innovative program from the charity group ‘Save the Elephants’ supports beekeeping as a way to prevent harmful elephant-human conflicts. The “bee fences” (shown here as top-bar hives on ropes) keep the elephants from coming into farmers’ fields, where they often end up as victims in conflict (people can be injured or killed too). The “bee fences” are a natural world solution for human-elephant conflict. Dr. Lucy King conducted research to prove the effectiveness of the “bee fences” and received the United National Environmental Program/Convention on Migratory Species (UNEP/CMS) Thesis Prize for her original research. It is a constructive project: human communities benefit from the honey production and crop protection and elephants are no longer poisoned or shot. It is not a solution for all of the Elephants’ problems, but this is a constructive step in the right direction with long term and immediate benefits for all.

Research has shown that : (i) Elephants avoid feeding on acacia trees hosting beehives, (ii) elephants will run away from the sounds of disturbed honeybees, (iii) our unique beehive fences are effective against crop-raiding elephants and (iv) elephants have a unique low frequency rumble which helps them communicate about the threat of bees to each other.

The Elephants and Bees Research Project–>