Elephants will no longer represent a major threat to local farmers, due to an ingenious invention showcased by a well-known biologist. Dr Lucy King is the lucky winner of an award offered by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals during a United Nations ceremony that took place in Bergen, Norway.
King received the prize for coming up with an innovative beehive fence, meant to significantly reduce the number of violent conflicts occurring between elephants and members of local communities, according to Daily Mail.
She developed the entire mechanism after studying the elephants' natural fear of being stung by bees. The product is definitely efficient, as the biologist has performed tests since 2008, in a series of 17 local farms from Kenya.
Studying almost 90 cases of elephant attempts of trespassing, she noticed that only six creatures were brave enough to carry on with their plan, overcoming their fear and defying the bee fence.
Her finding is quite useful, as it highlights the importance of bee populations, while using these creatures to decrease the alarming rate of conflicts between elephants and local people.
The biologist's invention is rather simple and cost-effective. It implies that one beehive has to be installed every 10 meters on a regular fence. While thinking about the efficiency of her project, she noticed that the large mammals trying to enter local farms were intimidated by the structure.
King's discovery will be implemented in farming communities located in three different Kenyan districts and it is also going to be adopted by three different tribes, due to its remarkable results.
The bee-improved fence is an environmentally-friendly invention, because it reveals a risk-free way of keeping the unwanted visitors away from farms, without putting their fate in any kind of danger. Such a mechanism is welcomed especially nowadays, since the elephant population has become more and more vulnerable.
“Dr King's work spotlights an intelligent solution to an age-old challenge while providing further confirmation of the importance of bees to people and a really clever way of conserving the world's largest land animal for current and future generations,” affirmed Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP (UN Environment Programme) executive director.