Elephants and Bees Mobile Unit
Through the kind support from donors, the Elephants and Bees Mobile Unit secured the funding needed for a Mobile Unit vehicle in 2018. This has enabled a small team to visit other conflict sites, building mitigation-capacity and creating exciting new collaborations. The team has so far partnered with a number of organizations. For example, in partnership with our friends at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, the team is now trialing beehive fences as a possible method to help protect two lines of existing electric fencing at the boundary of the Ngare Ndare forest. The team has also worked alongside SORALO (South Rift Association for Land Owners in Kenya) and the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT) in the Chyulu hills, Tsavo West. Travelling beyond Kenya, in March 2019 the team visited the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Wildaid in Uganda, investigating different mitigation methods, and the potential for beehive fences in the Murchison Falls National Park.
Through extensive research and data collection, the Elephants and Bees team are hoping to understand other applications for bees as an eco-deterrent. The discovery that elephants have adverse reactions towards bees has led to other innovative field applications, including successful experiments by the Elephants Alive team, to use bees to protect precious Marula trees in the Kruger National park, South Africa.
Human-elephant conflict is an incredibly complex problem. Multiple factors such as land history, farming practises, education, geography and rainfall interplay to create dangerous and dynamic conflict situations that can be detrimental for both communities and elephants. Since the Mobile Unit embarked on this mission, we are growing our understanding of HEC mitigation strategies in Kenya and further afield, learning how to coordinate more thoughtful and tailored mobile outreach, and promoting coexistence strategies that will help communities live more peacefully with elephants.
If you would like to help support our Mobile Unit team, please do consider a donation, or get in touch with us for more information on ways you can help!