Using bees to ward off elephants; project to be implemented in Kerala too
New Delhi: The wild elephants that enter human inhabited areas will be thwarted with the help of honeybees. The RE-HAB (Reducing Elephant-Human Attacks using Bees) project initiated by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), will soon be implemented in seven states including Kerala.
The project was successfully experimented in Kodagu to ward off elephants that trespass into the residential areas. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that it will be implemented in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Assam.
The minister pointed out that the project was affordable and effective. Beehives were set up in the borders of human habitations to thwart wild elephants. The pilot project was implemented by arranging beehives on four spots at the border of Nagarhole National park and Tiger Reserve.
The elephants are afraid of bees as they sting in eyes and in the soft tissues of the trunk. The buzzing sound of bees seemed to get rid of elephants in the area and the crop loss also was reduced. If the project is implemented in tribal settlements and other places, crops and human life can be saved, said KVIC chairman Vinay Kumar Saxena.
After the beehives were set up in the area, elephants came to the place but did not enter human habitation from March 1 to 9. Later, elephants did not appear near the place from March 10 to 15. Though the jumbos passed by the place on March 16, they did not come to human habitation.
Wild elephants did not come for the next 9 days and they visited the place on March 26 but left as soon as seeing the beehive. They were not seen for the next 3 days. On March 30, elephants came back again but left the place sensing presence of bees.