Kenyan farmers deter elephants with a row of beehives

Beehive-fence

[image credit: Elephants and Bees]

Elephants are a

In many regions of rural Africa, elephants are seen as a nuisance by local farmers. In one crop raid, a herd of elephants can destroy an entire year's worth of work. Often after a raid, villagers will retaliate against the elephants.

Solution: Surround fields with a fence of beehives

The Beehive Fences are simple and cheap, made with no cement and using only locally sourced materials. Hives, or dummy hives, are hung every ten meters and linked together in a specific formation so that should an elephant touch one of the hives, or interconnecting wire, the beehives all along the fence line will swing and release the bees.

We have field tested this Beehive Fence design in three rural farming communities in Kenya with over 80% success rate. Any type of beehive can be used although our project focuses on using Kenyan Top Bar Hives and Langstroth Hives as they swing efficiently in the Beehive Fence and provide optimum honey yields for the farmers. Beehive Fences are cheap to construct costing approximately $150 to $500 per 100m depending on what types of beehives are used.

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Category: Environment

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Article by: Dave

Dave Cannon is a Seattle-based entrepreneur and consultant to nonprofits and small businesses. He loves Thai food and takes terrible photographs. You can follow him on Linkedin.
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