A Honey-Pot Scare Saves Crops and Trees: Meet the Bees Vs. the Elephants

This family of elephants was on the run after meeting up with bees in South Africa.
Diane Lili

Bees are giving elephants a present that is helping save precious trees and crops in Africa.

With thick skin that is also, surprisingly, very sensitive, elephants do not like bees. To them, a bee sting is very painful. Elephants are afraid of bees and they always move away from them, knowing that the sting of this tiny creature will give them intense pain.

Now, studies in South Africa have proven that bees can be used to help the fauna, crops and trees wherever elephants live. South Africa's Kruger National Park launched their program in 2015, and saw dramatic results. The workers discovered bees - and even the sound of their buzzing - instantly sent elephants away from the area.Lucy King of the University of Oxford and part of "Save the Elephants" said,"Almost half of our study herds started to move away within 10 seconds of the bee playback."

Turns out using their fear of bees will also save elephants' lives, since farm owners in numerous regions have been known to shoot these giant mammals when their crops are threatened.

Using beehives as a deterrent, project workers have watched as elephants are kept away from feeding areas that were in their path of destruction, by bees.

Saving tress and other natural brush and fauna, including precious crops, is not as easy as setting up beehives in select areas where elephants live.

Next up, the beehives are expected to be used for honey, which will also create a new revenue stream for local farmers.


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