Saturday, July 16, 2011

Nothing Like A Win-Win Situation...!

I'm glad to see someone taking advantage of Mother Nature's lessons to try and solve some of the problems in the world!

Mankind should try and find more solutions like this more often, I think! Maybe this is a chance to profit from some natural lessons instead of always trying to destroy and muscle our way to a solution!

Saves the bees, deters the elephants, and gives the farmers another source of income from the honey! Looks like a win-win situation to me!

Innovative beehive fences have helped a community in Kenya to successfully protect crops from elephants, according to research.

Scientists found the hives to be a very effective barrier; elephants turned away from them in 97% of their attempted raids.

Conservationists suggest that elephants' natural fear of bees could settle ongoing conflicts.

The hives' honey also produced additional profits for farmers. Welles Elephants and farmers compete for limited resources

Over the past 20 years, elephant numbers in Kenya have grown to around 7,500 and the population boost is widely heralded as a conservation success story.

However, conflict between elephants and humans, especially farmers, is an ongoing problem.

Elephants frequently "raid" farms searching for food such as ripe tomatoes, potatoes and maize.

To protect their livelihoods, some farmers have resorted to extreme measures including poisoning and shooting elephants.

The honey production and consequent income has really incentivised the farmers to maintain the fences”

Previous research into natural deterrents showed that elephants avoided African honey bees.

In 2009, experts from the University of Oxford, UK, and the charity Save the Elephants set up a trial project to test whether beehives could prevent conflict on farmland boundaries.

After two years of observations, the full results of the trial have now been published in the African Journal of Ecology.

"Finding a way to use live beehives was the next logical step in finding a socially and ecologically sensitive way of taking advantage of elephants' natural avoidance behaviour to bees to protect farmers' crops," said Dr Lucy King, the University of Oxford biologist who led the study.

"It was very exciting to see that our theoretical work has been converted into a practical application," she said.

In 32 attempted raids over three crop seasons, only one bull elephant managed to penetrate the novel defences.

The beehives were suspended on wires between posts with a flat thatched roof above to protect from the sun in the traditional Kenyan style.

The team created a boundaries for 17 farms, incorporating 170 beehives into 1,700m of fencing.

"The interlinked beehive fences not only stopped elephants from raiding our study farms but the farmers profited from selling honey to supplement their low incomes," Dr King explained.

"The honey production and consequent income has really incentivised the farmers to maintain the fences."

Conservationists now hope to roll out the scheme to other farming communities.

You have to ask yourself...ain't nature wonderful?

C'mon, my friends. Time for some coffee-time on the patio! BTW, we got a little rain yesterday! For about 5 minutes! Better than nothing!


Kellie said...

do you have a link to that? I have a friend studying elephants in Nepal. great idea, they have the same problem

Ben in Texas said...

Sounds like a great idea!! Although I am always worried when humans introduce a new animal or insect into a environment. Sometimes it upsets the natural balance of things. AND we can only hope they don't have an invasion of the"killer bees" move in and take over.
I really am trying to have positive thoughts about this, But I'm just saying .. remember the grass carp? Grass carp

Sixbears said...

Good solution. That's working with nature instead of against it. Too bad it would have just the opposite effect on my bear problem.

Hope you get a break from that TX sun and heat.

JoJo said...

Glad its working out for them. And its helping them make more income.
I am so happy to hear you had rain. We are suposed to get more this coming week.
Saw the results of the fire yesterday. Sad

tffnguy said...

I'll have to side with Ben on this.

bigcreek said...

This sounds lika a great idea, working with nature like permaculture concept. Cannot think of a negative thing to say about it, you are not introducing anything new with the bees. It would be prohibitly expensive to try and fence elephants out by convential means. Love idea of working with nature instead of fighting against it which is norm.
The gmo crops taking over all ag production seem hideous to me. I believe they are designed to destroy God's creation including gulp us. Hey i'm ready for that cup of coffee with ya, wish we could enjoy one together.

HermitJim said...

Hey Kellie...
Sorry, I should have put the link in the article!

Hope your friend finds this useful! Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Ben...
I found this very related statement in the same paper!

African honey bees were crossed with European honey bees in South America and are known as "killer bees" because of their increased aggression

I don't think this will be a problem for the folks there in Africa, but we'll have to wait and see!

Thanks, buddy, for coming by today!

Hey Sixbears...
Yep, I have a feeling that the bears might like the bee hives just a little too much!

Bet someone has a similar solution for bears! Surely there must be one!

I appreciate you coming by today!

Hey JoJo...
Raining again today! I'm watching it as we speak! Sure sounds nice to hear it slowly coming down on the carport!

Guess we have to stay in the kitchen today, but I don't mind!

I'll bet the burned areas look pretty desolate! With some rain they should green up again real soon!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by this morning!

Hey Tffnguy...
We can only hope for the best for these guys! I'd say they could use some positive thoughts with everything going on over there!

I really thank you for coming over this morning, buddy!

Hey Big Creek...
Sometimes man is bright enough to follow natures lead on the solution to a problem.

I have a bad feeling that if we don't leave the altercation of seeds alone, we may find we have "improved" ourselves right out of a food source!

Like the old commercial said "It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature!"

Thanks so much for the visit today!

TROUBLEnTX said...

Had to look it up, but there's a Doomsday seed vault in the Artic, has samples of seeds from all over the world. There's others too, just in case.
And,,sooo, ur getting rain, huh? All i can say is,,,wooohoooo, good for you.
Paper today has story about a house in Austin with a 7 ft hive in the walls. The owner had it removed. Been there for 40 years.

Bob from Athens said...

Hay, we got some rain last night, it almost got the ground wet, I had a roll of paper towels setting on my outside work bench and they got a little damp, .

Elephants are strange animals, afraid of mice and bees, but not even a little hesitant to take on humans, lions, or other elephants, go figure.

JoJo said...

Glad your getting rain. I love the way it sounds when it hits the awning too. :D

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant idea, love it! When you can put a healthy solution to a problem you have a win win all round!

Anonymous said...

awesome and inspirational story! thanks!