Beehive fence deters crop-raiding elephants

  • Published source details King L.E., Lawrence A., Douglas-Hamilton I. & Vollrath F. (2009) Beehive fence deters crop-raiding elephants. African Journal of Ecology, 47, 131-137.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use bees to deter crop damage by mammals (e.g. elephants) to reduce human-wildlife conflict

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Use bees to deter crop damage by mammals (e.g. elephants) to reduce human-wildlife conflict

    A controlled study in 2007 on two farms in Laikipia, Kenya (King et al. 2009) found that a beehive fence (without resident bees) reduced crop-raiding by African elephants Loxodonta africana. Results were not tested for statistical significance. There were fewer successful crop raids on the farm protected by the beehive fence (7 raids) than on the unprotected farm (13 raids). Fewer individual elephants raided the protected farm (38) than the unprotected farm (95). The two farms, 466 m apart, each approximately 2 acres, grew similar mixes of maize Zea mays, potatoes Solanum tuberosum, sorghum Sorghum sp and beans. On one farm, nine hives were suspended under thatch roofs, along a 90-m boundary. A wire between hives connected to the wires suspending hives, so an elephant pushing against it caused the hives to shake, and bees to emerge. However, hives were unoccupied during the trial. The second farm was unprotected. Elephant raids were documented by farmers over six weeks in August–September 2007.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 20

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered speciesVincet Wildlife Trust