Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Beehive fences as a multidimensional conflict-mitigation tool for farmers coexisting with elephants

Published source details

King L.E., Lala F., Nzumu H., Mwambingu E. & Douglas-Hamilton I. (2017) Beehive fences as a multidimensional conflict-mitigation tool for farmers coexisting with elephants. Conservation Biology, 31, 743-752


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

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

A replicated study in 2012–2015 of 10 crop fields in an agricultural community in Kenya (King et al. 2017) found that beehive fences deterred crop raiding by African elephants Loxodonta africana. Of 238 elephants that approached farms with beehive fences, more turned away (190 elephants) than broke through to raid crops (48). On 65 occasions, elephant groups approached to ≤10 m from beehive fences. Of these, 39 groups (114 elephants) turned back at the fence and 26 groups (50 elephants) broke through fences. Eight farm plots, each 0.4 ha extent, were enclosed by beehive fences, built in June 2012 to February 2013. Fences comprised 12 beehives and 12 two-dimensional plywood dummy hives suspended from a wire running continuously between fence posts. Pushing the wire caused hives to rock and bees to emerge. Elephant movements around fences were recorded by farmers.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)