Angola Beehive Fences
In May 2019, Marisa Rodrigues, a Portuguese Ph.D. student at Sao Paulo State University, Brazil doing her field of research focused on honey bee behavior, breeding and genetics in Angola contacted Lucy seeking support and technical advice on using beehive fences as a way of mitigating human-elephant conflict in high conflict areas.
Marisa, who first visited Angola in 2014, saw the huge potential of honey production and went back in 2016 as a consultant in a sustainable honey production project where she works with rural beekeepers to produce natural honey sustainably.
They have managed to build a network of beekeepers that exchanges knowledge, experiences as well as beekeeping materials all the while providing an alternative livelihood for the farmers in Chibia, Angola. The project caught the eye of the Angolan Ministry of the environment who reached out through the National Institute for Biodiversity and Protected Areas (INBAC). The INBAC shed a light on the state of human-elephant conflict in Angola, particularly within the Bicuar National Park, Huila province and Maria Teresa, Cuanza Norte province. Marisa suggested the use of bee-hive fences as an Eco deterrent, based on our research and they went on to build a functional prototype beehive fence utilizing free Elephants and Bees online resources such as the beehive fence construction manual in Cambondo village, Cuanza Norte province.
The residents living in these high conflict areas have been using methods such as use of fire and bells to keep elephants away from farms but it hasn’t been enough. The project aims to use beehive fences to reduce human-elephant conflict in these areas and Save the Elephants is happy to have facilitated the funding for three of the beehive fences built.
Marisa received training at our Research Center in Sagalla, Kenya. Her Ph.D. research and knowledge of beekeeping will be very beneficial to the beehive fence project in Angola.