Bees to Protect Trees in Kruger, South Africa

We are delighted to post an update from our colleagues and partners Elephants Alive who work down in the greater Kruger ecosystem in South Africa on our collaborative trial of beehives to protect marula trees! I hope you will read this story and if you would like to support the field team down there with their efforts I know they would be grateful for any extra financial support for this first large scale trial of using honey bees to protect critical large marula trees from being knocked over by elephants! The bees will help increase pollination for recovery of the natural bush land and the honey will also go towards supporting the rangers and staff in the Jejane Nature Reserve who work so hard to create a healthy ecosystem for elephants to live safely in. Click here to donate to this important project:


Report from Elephants Alive, South Africa

Elephants Alive has been a-buzz with activity as we have literally been as busy as bees. We had a very productive time making beehives for Robin’s MSc! In just two and a half days our inspired team made 79 beehives. Our only hold-up being a hiccup with the delivery of materials. We still have 40 to go but with our new skills, we are unstoppable.


But bees and elephants….where is the link? Robin’s project will focus on using bees to deter elephants from impacting iconic Marula trees. His thesis will build on the wonderful work done by our colleague, Dr. Lucy King who used bees to protect crops from raiding elephants. We hope to protect individual Marula trees from elephant impact to ensure the aesthetics of certain landscape features, secure bees for the future, produce honey and in general to foster a peaceful co-existence between elephants and people.


We will provide updates as the project develops and as beehives get hung in trees at the experimental site on Jejane Private Nature Reserve. Thank you to all who have sponsored a hive at $50 each. We will post pictures of your labelled hive as we go. Please use our website to donate via PayPal with the words ‘BEES’ if you wish to sponsor a hive ( or alternatively follow this link:


We would like to thank our bee expert, Johan Labuschagne for his design and wonderful guidance throughout the workshop. Gionni Gelletich is thanked for providing the ideal venue at Mica Village. Mica’s wonderful staff all lent a hand and we would like to thank Robert, Rector, Reggie, Mathieu and Given. Prince from Nourish was amazing and did everything in his stride and with the biggest smile. Winnie is thanked for helping with the catering. Michellene worked out all the meals. Lucia, our intern worked tirelessly wherever she was needed. BUCO is thanked for providing a good discount on the expensive materials. Woolworths is thanked for their support via their Wild About Elephants – Bags4Good campaign.


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