August 21, 2016

Lucy King: Saved by the bee

(CNN) Elephants are a big issue for farmers in parts of Africa — but whether they want to or not, the two are going to have to learn to live together.

A population boom on the continent calls for an increase in resources, and farmers are expanding to accommodate mouths to feed. Occasionally farmers have settled on natural migration corridors for African elephants, giving birth to a fractious relationship.
Standing in the way of herds are fields of maize, beans, peas and cassava, often trampled and eaten by elephants. It endangers the livelihoods of farmers and the lives of the giant mammals, who have been shot or poisoned in return.
But environmentalist Lucy King has come up with an ingenious solution that might just save both parties: the African honeybee.

Evidence collated by King proved elephants “will avoid live beehives at all costs.” In fact, she found 94% of elephants in her study moved away from the source of bee sounds within 80 seconds.

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