Farmers near Tsavo East adopt beehive fences to ward off wildlife

Written By: Judith Akolo

A section of farmers near the Tsavo East National Parks have turned to beehive fences to reduce human-wildlife conflict.

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However, the project only works when farmers are committed to maintaining the beehives to provide a natural, sustainable and profitable deterrent against the elephant invasion.

Farmers bordering the Tsavo National Park have come up with a novel way of wading off wildlife that often invade their farms. They are shielding their farms using bees.

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One such farmer is Steven Musyoki who has over 20 beehives that he keeps on his farm to guarantee a harvest as well as a decent profit from the honey that he collects from these insects.

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The biological means of protecting his farm is a far cry from his neighbors who have used more crude methods of keeping elephants away from his farm.

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Dr. Lucy King of Save the Elephants carried out research which showed that elephants were frightened of bees.

So officers from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust camp based in the area were deployed to install the beehives round seven farms bordering the park, creating a beehive fence.

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Skeptical farmers who initially viewed the beehive fences with suspicion now want to be incorporated.

Researchers have found that in homesteads where they were installed, 80 percent of the time these beehive fences have successfully managed to keep elephants out, significantly bringing down cases of invasion of farms by elephants.



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