November 23, 2011
Buzzing Bees Scare Away Elephants
A British biologist has discovered that buzzing bees will keep elephants from stomping on African plantations.
Lucy King, a research at Oxford University, was honored on Tuesday by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in the western Norwegian town of Bergen for developing a wire fence connected to apiaries that begin to buzz when an elephant trips the wire.“Dr. King´s work spotlights an intelligent solution to an age-old challenge while providing further confirmation of the importance of bees to people and a really clever way of conserving the world´s largest land animal for current and future generations,” UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said in a statement.
The African Savannah elephant is the biggest land animal on Earth, but is terrified of bees and takes off at the first buzz it hears.
Bees are attracted to the sensitive area around the elephants' eyes and inside their trunks.
King's research has given several Kenyan villages the ability to protect their plantations from herds of elephants.
"Her research underlines how working with, rather than against, nature can provide humanity with many of the solutions to the challenges countries and communities face," Steiner said in a statement.
Beekeeping was also recently listed as an equal income generator for Kenyan farmers, with beekeeping recognized as the third most time-consuming activity after farm work and charcoal making in 2010.
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