Kenya Beehive Fences
Our first project site was with the Kikuyu farmers of Ex-Erok in Laikipia, where we experimented with our first design of a beehive fence together using beautiful, traditional and old, log beehives. The trial was very small but successful, with the log beehives eventually producing some valuable honey.
The number of crop-raids was reduced during our initial trial in 2008 (see King et al., 2009) but soon after, the farmers had an expansive electric fence built to protect the whole community from elephant crop-raids.
Eventually, we protected 17 of the farmers’ fields on the front line of elephant crop-raids with beehive fences and compared data from those protected farms to an additional 17 front line farms who were just using traditional thorn barriers. This data formed the bulk of Dr. King’s DPhil thesis work and her results can be download as both publications and as a full pdf of her thesis. It was here in Ngare Mara that we came up with the label “Elephant-Friendly Honey” which has been a marketing success for our honey brand from the beehive fences.
The beehive fence protected farms in Sagalla have an average of 80% success rate against crop-raiding elephants. The Elephants and Bees Research Center is based in Mwakoma Village, here we have our friendly project office, the honey processing room and our community training center. These facilities enable us to help neigbouring farming communities and to train farmers and project managers on site from other regions of Kenya and Africa.