It's been long since said that elephants are scared of mice, but there is something else elephants have been found to be scared of - bees. And it is the elephants' fear of bees which is helping to save the elephant population.
Elephants are slowly recovering after a decimation in the 1980’s, but at the same time the human population has also increased. With more elephants in the wild again they are starting to migrate back to where they have always lived. But now there are houses, schools, farms, and other developments cutting off their routes.
Crop raiding elephants can devastate farms as an elephant can eat over 300kg of vegetation a day. If crops are eaten by elephants it creates food insecurity within villages and can even cause the death of people if they are in the elephants' way. This can lead to a negative attitude towards elephants. Villages will resort to harmful tactics to keep the elephants out of their crops. The human elephant conflict poses a major threat to the well being of both humans and animals.
A beehive fence is a beehive (hung about chest height) from fence posts which are connected to other fence posts by wire. They are placed around a farm perimeter about every 10 meters. When an elephant avoids the hive but trips the wire it rocks the beehive, which causes the bees to come out and investigate, and then this scares the elephants. Elephants then communicate the presence of the bees to other elephants and they will tend to avoid the area.