Thailand Beehive Fences
Phuluang Wildlife Sanctuary in north east Thailand was the first project site to test the effectiveness of beehive fences in Asia. The expansion of farmlands saw an increase in crop-raiding by elephants and resulting conflict between elephants and area residents. Rachaya Arkajak with Phuluang Wildlife Research Station, as well as the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation used the Thai version of our Beehive Fence Construction Manual to construct beehive fences with Langstroth beehives in six villages in the area. These have kept 74% of crop-raiding elephants away from the protected farms, increased crop yields and enough “Elephant-Friendly honey” has been harvest for farmers to sell. The elephant population has increased from 50 in 1998 to 97 currently.
Success from the primary project at Phuluang Wildlife Sanctuary allowed Rachaya Arkajak and staff at Phu Luang Wildlife Research Station to develop a beehive fence project site at Khao Siphachan National Park located in Pawa sub-district in Kang Hang Maew district, Chantaburi province. About 80 elephants wandering out of the park to the neighbouring villages caused havoc amongst farmers and their crops. The team set up a camera trap study to monitor the success of the beehive fences constructed and monitor elephant crop-raiding. The site received a lot of national and international media coverage as local farmers changed their economic activities to become professional beekeepers. In addition to beehive fencing, this project combines forest restoration, planting flowers and supporting a community ranger team.
With initial training facilitated by Bring the Elephant Home, Phuluang Wildlife Research Station has established beehive fences in Kuiburi National Park; Chong Sadao district, Kanchanaburi; and is constructing beehive fences in Khao Yai National Park.
Bring the Elephant Home (BTEH) organised an educational tour to the pre-existing beehive fence project at Phu Luang Wildlife Reseach Station for 40 local community members, park rangers, NGO staff and scientists from Kanchanaburi to learn about using beehive fences as a sustainable and cost effective measure to protect farms. The knowledge gained from this capacity building-tour was then incorporated into a short-term project proposals to enable the local community to cohabit in harmony with the elephants from Kanchanaburi.
In a survey conducted amongst 46 plantation owners located in human-elephant conflict prevalent areas in Kanchanaburi, BTEH found that:
Bring the Elephant Home are focusing on fundraising in order to help other villages affected by human-elephant conflict implementing this sustainable method. To support this project click here or stay updated here.