Study

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.

Actions

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)

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