Bees, Trees & Elephants
Using African honeybees as a deterrent method for African elephant impacts on marula trees in South Africa
In South Africa, Protected Areas managers and tourists alike are concerned that our expanding elephant population will negatively affect the number and structure of iconic tree species such as the Marula (Sclerocarya birrea). Elephants Alive (www.ElephantsAlive.org) were approached by South Africa National Parks (SANParks) in 2012 to discuss methods which could be used to keep elephants out of particular areas where certain landscape features such as tall trees needed to be preserved as part of the biodiversity objectives of SANParks.
Bees, Trees and Elephants – Success!
Elephants are considered to cause unacceptable levels of damage to certain large trees in some conservation areas. This damage exacerbates human: elephant conflict, with some calling for elephants to be culled to reduce tree damage. In 2015 Elephants Alive embarked on a unique project to use bees to protect iconic trees from elephant damage within the Private Reserves.