Ugandan Parliament Officers visit the Elephants and Bees Research Center
Blog by Dr Lucy King, Elephants and Bees Project Leader
We were honoured to have a two day visit on the 4th and 5th November 2014 to our Elephants and Bees Research Center in Sagalla by two Senior Officers from the Parliament of Uganda, Mr Paul Twagirayezu and Mr Sunday Etrima. Both officers have been sent on a fact-finding mission to assess whether Beehive Fences may be one method to try in Uganda for reducing the problem of Human-Elephant Conflict. We enjoyed showing them around the Research Center, demonstrating how the Rufford Honey Processing Room works and then we visited three of our beehive fence protected farms so that they could talk to the farmers and assess for themselves how the project has taken in the community. They appeared impressed by the uptake of the method in Sagalla and also the enthusiasm of our farmers for the project who were very vocal about the benefits of the beehive fences, not only as they have helped reduce harmful crop-raids but because the beehive fences provide an income in the form of honey production and pollination services for their crops. We are hopeful that they will return to Uganda and try to implement a test site in the country as we believe Uganda could be even more wonderful for beekeeping and the beehive fences due to the more lush environment there. We hope they will return soon!
Dr Lucy King explaining to the team how the beehive fence system works to protect farms
The team from Uganda’s Parliament interviewing Mr Wabongo about his beehive fence
The team visiting Mr Nzumu’s beehive fence just near the Elephants and Bees Research Centre.
Dr Lucy King pretending to be an elephant and demonstrating how the beehive fence works – all the hives are interconnected with a single piece of wire, should an elephant try to push into the farm between the beehives, they cause all the beehives to swing and release the bees. We know from our previous published research that this will scare away the elephants who fear being stung multiple times by the aggressive African honey bee Apis mellifera scutella.