Bees for elephants – Turning Human / Wildlife Conflict into Coexistence

Beehive fences are generating high levels of interest and acceptance among farmers in Africa and Asia as a way of protecting local villagers and their crops and minimizing human – elephant conflict.

At Gorongosa National Park, bees and elephant-proof silos are key to the park’s elephant and human coexistence initiative.

Beehives fences capitalize on an elephants’ fear of African honeybees, and by working as a natural deterrent, reduce crop-damage and protect local residents.

In return, beekeeping and honey production created by the beehive fences provide a social and economic boost for farmers through pollination and the harvesting and production of elephant-friendly honey.

But despite all the studies and experiments, scientists are united in one fact: no single technique is 100 percent effective. 

That’s why the Park’s Human Wildlife Coexistence Team – with the help of Gorongosa Rangers and local villagers – are replacing traditional silos with more than 160 new elephant-proof silos. The new silos use bricks made by area residents and are less vulnerable to pests and crop raiding by elephants and other animals.

The silos are being built with the support of Conservation Lower Zambezi – CLZand funding from the Global Environment Facilityand the United Nations Development Program.

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