Elephants and Honeybees

Sometimes a simple solution can be the best solution, no matter how big the problem is. And we’re talking about elephant-sized.

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The Elephants and Bees Project aims to save elephants by preventing human-elephant conflict. Specifically, they are trying to prevent elephants from raiding agricultural areas and causing great damage to crops. Doing that makes farmers upset, and understandably so. But trying to scare the elephants away with firecrackers and bullets also risks making them more aggressive, making the situation more dangerous for elephants and humans alike. But how do you solve this conflict over resources? Electric fences are not affordable for many an African farmer, nor is it feasible to power them.

That’s where the bees come in! See, elephants don’t like bees — their stings hurt very much on their trunks — but they also don’t see the point in charging them. So researchers have started testing out “beehive fences.” Elephants disturb the hives when they come too close to the crops. The bees come out of the hive to protect it. The elephants hear the bees and decide to make like a banana, and split! As a bonus, farmers can harvest honey and other products like beeswax and royal jelly from the hives. Bees are also good to have around crops for pollination purposes.

Sometimes you don’t have to go super techno or fancy to fix a problem. Sometimes all you need is a good idea and a whole bunch of bees.

 

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