New Beehive Fence for Rahasi Village
We’ve just hung up our hammers and pliers from two enjoyable days constructing a demonstration beehive fence for a farmer living in Rahasi Village, which is a pretty community just on the northern side of Sagalla Mountain, next to Tsavo East National Park. With our large beehive fence project site on the southern side of the mountain, in Mwakoma Village, we have come to learn about the crop-raiding incidents further around the mountain. We visited Rahasi 3 months ago to assess the potential of the area for a small beehive fence project. 10 of the worst affected crop-raided farms were selected in a big community meeting and our Elephants and Bees MSc student and field assistant, Anna and Robert, interviewed them all to assess the issues in the community. These 10 farmers were so engaging and we learnt more about their lives living in the area. One of them, Enoc, was selected for the first beehive fence demonstration and we have just finished building him 200 meters of beehive fence with all the other 9 farmers in the selected group there to help and learn. It was one of the quickest builds I have ever done, completed in just two half days and that is certainly testament to their enthusiasm and interest in the method. We hope his 200m beehive fence surrounding the two outer edge sides of his farm will help to reduce elephant crop-raids as well as provide his farm with pollination services from the bees and, hopefully, plenty of Elephant-Friendly Honey!
The beehives and materials for this beehive fence was donated by my friend and artist Dominique Thoenes and her company, Bella MATATA. She has painted some extraordinarily fun and imaginative paintings of our Elephants and Bees Project and a generous proportion of her sales have been donated to our project to help farmers like those in Rahasi get involved in the project. Here is a photograph of the community saying thanks to Save the Elephants and Bella MATATA in front of Enoc’s new beehive fence.