honey bees to the rescue
How Beehive Fences act as a natural deterrent for elephants and cause a social and economic boost to poverty-stricken, rural communities.
As the world's largest land animal, elephants have a serious animal phobia: bees. Dr. Lucy King, founder of the Elephants and Bees Project, laughs and lights up as she describes the discovery that elephants have a particular call for alarming others about a nearby beehive.
When researchers recorded this elephant warning-call and played it to other elephants, the elephants promptly began shaking their enormous ears and running away.
(Interestingly, when this call was played to elephants in other areas of Africa, they didn't budge-- implying various elephant herds through out regions in Africa have different dialect.)
At times, elephants raid farmland, destroying a whole season's worth of crops. The farmers who make their living off of these crops are burdened with their farmland being destroyed. In turn, the farmers view the elephants as pests, and may turn a blind-eye when poachers come.
This human-elephant conflict threatens both the endangered elephants and poverty-stricken, rural communities.
Through creating beehive fences around the farmland (many farmers cannot pay for electric fences), elephant raids have been reduced by 80%. Furthermore, the farmers are able to make more money from selling honey than they originally were able to make from their crops alone.
The Elephants and the Bees project is one of many projects that our nonprofit partner Save the Elephants is conducting to protect the future of elephants.
Dr. King's research for Elephants and Bees illustrates how working with nature can provide humanity with many of the solutions -- not only is this novel concept beneficial for the people, but it shows the importance of bees and an ingenious way of protecting the world's largest land animal.
The glassybaby white light fund has donated $60,000 to the Elephants and Bees project. As the major donor for this project, the white light fund's donations are undesignated. Our undesignated giving allows organizations to run smoothly; by enabling Save the Elephants to use the money in ways they need to most, they can focus on moving forward in their powerful work to save the world's largest land animal.