Friday, December 04, 2015
Many elephants are killed each year in Kenya during altercations with between villagers and the elephants who wreak havoc on their crops. Zoologist Lucy King found a solution. Elephants are terrified by the sound of bees because the skin inside their trunks is particularly vulnerable to being stung. King developed the honey fence system: a series of hives, suspended at ten-metre intervals from a single wire threaded around wooden fence posts. If an elephant touches either a hive or the wire, all the bees along the fence line feel the disturbance and swarm out of their hives in an angry, buzzing cloud.
The Beehive Fence design was tested in three rural farming communities in Kenya with over 80% success rate. The village’s crops are protected, the elephants steered away from potential conflict, and the farmers are able to garner some revenue from the harvesting of honey.