Beehive fences can reduce crop damage by Asian elephants and generate supplemental income for farmers in Thailand. As such, they have the potential to prevent violent conflicts between people and the world’s largest land animals and establish new forms of peaceful coexistence, according to a study published August 20, 2020, in Conservation Science and Practice. The study was conducted in Kaeng Hang Maeo district of Chanthaburi province in Eastern Thailand, an area of high human-elephant conflict, consisting of farmland surrounded by Protected Areas.
The results of this pilot study indicated that over 60% of the elephant groups and over 85% of the individual elephants were deterred by the newly installed beehive fence. The elephants that came close to the beehive fence showed typical signs of increased alertness and uncertainty and often slowly backed away. The farm owner reported a strong reduction in crop damage after the beehive fence was installed, as well as additional benefits, including the supplemental income from honey and honeybee queens.
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