Slide background Elephant approaching a Marula tree with hanging beehives Elephant approaching a Marula tree with hanging beehive

South Africa Bees & Trees Study

The next logical step was to partner up with Dr Lucy King from the Elephants and Bees Project to test the efficacy of African honeybees as a deterrent mechanism to keep elephants away from the iconic Marula tree. In 2015 Elephants Alive asked Robin Cook to take the study on as his MSc. degree through the University of the Witwatersrand’s Centre for African Ecology Lab (South Africa) to test how effective African honeybees are at protecting iconic trees when compared to the tried and tested methods of wire-net protection which does increase the survival rate of tall trees favoured by elephants as food sources. This research is being carried out under the supervision of Dr Michelle Henley (Elephants Alive), Dr Lucy King (Elephants and Bees Project), Associate Professor Francesca Parrini (University of the Witwatersrand) and Professor Ed Witkowski (University of the Witwatersrand).

All photos by Elephants Alive and Robin Cook.