Friday, March 26, 2021

'Bee boxes' to keep away wild elephants

Invasion of human habitations by wild animals results not only in the destruction of crops but also loss of human lives. As a deterrent, some people put up electrified fences. Some others even kill the animals. Not the right solution, for sure.

Now, taking advantage of the fact that elephants are known to have a fear of bees, Khadi and Village Industries Commission recently launched a project called RE-HAB (Reducing Elephant-Human Attacks using Bees) in Kodagu (Coorg) in Karnataka state. 

It involves placing boxes of bees along the periphery of the villages. There are strings that connect the 'bee boxes'. If and when an elephant tries to cross the boundary, its impact on the string causes the bees to swarm the elephant herds, deterring them from moving forward.

Source: The Hindu

To begin with, around 20 such bee boxes have been placed at four locations, and high-resolution night-vision cameras record the impact the bees have on the elephants.

Undoubtedly an innovative solution. It would be interesting to know if this works.

(This post is a part of the monthly We Are The World Blogfest that goes out on the last Friday of every month to highlight the positive stories around us. On Facebook and on Twitter.)

18 comments:

  1. Hari OM
    This is an elegant response to the elephant issue! However, it depends on the bees not choosing to move away after being disturbed. Honey bees might stay around, but even they will look for other hiving areas if too much disturbed. I like the thinking though, showing a willing to not automatically go on the rampage. YAM xx

    PS - love the 'spring makeover'!!!

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    1. Hi Yamini - Yes, that is true! ... I am sure the project managers will be watching how this progresses.

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  2. I never knew that elephants are afraid of bees. Who knew a tiny insect could strike fear in the heart of a giant? Although, I'm afraid of June bugs, so I do have some understanding. I hope this helps the villages keep the elephants out where they can do no harm and still live a peaceful and nourished existence.

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  3. Great post! Such a humane response to such a difficult and potentially dangerous situation. Thanks so much for sharing this and for being a part of #WATWB. Have a fantastic weekend!

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  4. Hi Pradeep - it does I wrote a post up 5.5 years ago after I'd heard Dr Lucy King, under the auspices of Oxford University, give a talk on her project in Kenya ... and I know they were spreading the word - about the opportunities of using Bee Fences.

    I wrote about it in October 2015 - I hope you don't mind ... the link is here:
    https://positiveletters.blogspot.com/2015/10/elephants-and-bees-project-in-kenya-and.html

    All the best - and wonderful you've highlighted some of the spread the ideas re bees and elephants ... Hilary

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  5. That a remarkable use of bees. I'd like to know if it works, too.

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  6. What a clever idea. And as elephants have purported excellent memories, they'd only have to be swarmed by the bees once to know to stay away.

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  7. African Elephants and Asian Elephants are in decline for a whole series of reasons, so anything we can do to minimize human/elephant conflict is welcome.

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  8. Very innovative solution. Please let us know if this works.

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  9. Good news and hope it works effectively

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  10. I like what Mary said about a tiny insect striking fear into a giant! I hope this works - it would be such a win-win situation. Thanks Pradeep, great post for #WATWB.

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  11. This is an issue in Coimbatore and neighboring districts where I have moved around for sometime. If this experiment works, probably it will be useful in other areas in India as well.

    Destination Infinity

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  12. Oh, it's fun to imagine those big animals fearing little bees ;) Hope it will work.

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  13. Wow. That's a great idea. Much better than electric fences or traps, just let nature do what it does. It'll be interesting to see how well it works out in the long run.

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  14. I like how inventive people can be. This reminds me of face masks worn backward to deter tiger attacks upon humans. I sure hope it succeeds!

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    1. Hi Darla - Thanks. Sometimes solutions to complex problems can be simple.

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  15. A brilliant idea, for, there is no damage to the wild-life. And cruel actions can be curtailed by this means.

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