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Terrified Elephants! Farmers Use This Tiny Animal to Prevent Crop Raid

Mar 10, 2017 05:33 AM EST
An African Safari
Farmers and researchers are using beehives to prevent elephants from trampling crops. This method is turning out to be an effective way to ward off elephants.
(Photo : Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

By nature, larger animals tend to scare off smaller ones due to the obvious dominance in size. For instance, many fear elephants including men. But did you know that elephants are terrified of bees?

Farmers who are trying to prevent elephants from intruding their farms are using beehives to ward off the gigantic species. Surprisingly, it looks like they already found a solution to the perennial crop raid problem.

Elephants co-existing with humans in the wild have a reputation of raiding farms and trampling crops. This means the humongous animal breed is responsible for destroying the livelihood of human communities living near their habitat.

African farmers and researchers found a way to ward off elephants, not by strong fences but by a low-cost solution using beehives. Reports say that elephants retreat just by hearing the sound of bees, according to Quartz.

The Elephant and Bees Project, and its group called Save the Elephants, thought of hanging beehives 10 meters apart along fences as an effective way to protect farms from elephant crop raids. Based on reports, there is an 80 percent success rate by using this method. Due to its efficacy, the technique is now being used in Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and Africa.

"Elephants have come to my farm but they couldn't manage to enter the farm," Hesron Nzumu, a farmer near Tsavo East National Park in Kenya said in an interview. "They see the beehive and they are really afraid of the bees. When they see them, they run away."

To validate the success of the method, a group of researchers collected the data from 10 farms in Africa where 131 beehives were placed in a span of 3 and a half years. From their study, they found out that only 20 out of 253 elephants managed to successfully cross the fences.

"It's a sustainable, long-term, low-cost solution for these small-scale farms, and we're not at all pretending this is going to work on a large-scale, for 100-acre farms; this is for the one-acre, two-acres farms, who have absolutely minimal income," Lucy King, who heads the Human-Elephant Coexistence Program at Save the Elephants, said in a statement.

Aside from protecting farms from elephant crop raids, farmers also gained another source of income by selling the harvested honey from the beehives.

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