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Numbers of elephants have declined in Africa and Asia over the past 30 years while numbers of humans have increased, both substantially. Friction between these two keystone species is reaching levels which are worryingly high from an ecological as well as a political viewpoint. Ways and means must be found to keep the two apart, at least in areas sensitive to each species' survival. The aggressive African bee might be one such method. Here we demonstrate that African bees deter elephants from damaging the vegetation and trees which house their hives. We argue that bees can be employed profitably to protect not only selected trees, but also selected areas, from elephant damage.

Original publication

DOI

10.1007/s00114-002-0375-2

Type

Journal article

Journal

Naturwissenschaften

Publication Date

11/2002

Volume

89

Pages

508 - 511

Keywords

Aggression, Animals, Bees, Conservation of Natural Resources, Elephants, Kenya