29 Apr 2020
Improving Livelihoods and Mitigating Human Elephant Conflict in Shimba Hills through Promoting Beekeeping
Bee keeping in Shimba hills ecosystem was introduced as a measure to deter elephants from the farms and also an alternative source of livelihood to communities adjacent to Protected area. The hives were located on known areas where the elephants pass through to reach the farms. Once the hives were colonized and harvest is ready, the farmers incurred huge loss from the honey badgers. Honey badgers destroy the hives and consume the honey just before harvesting making farmers to use crude methods to guard their hives. This project aims at identifying mitigation measures that will result in a win-win solution both to conservation and the local communities.
This project aims at identifying mitigation measures that will result in a win-win solution both to conservation and the local communities. When the beehives were set and colonized by the bees, the local community started to experience less elephants’ interference in their farms. After sometimes, farmers in various parts of the Shimba hills ecosystem experienced breakages in the hives and loss of the honey by honey badgers. The frequency of the attacks from each area differed making each farmer to use the method they know to either deter or kill the honey badgers. Some areas were adversely affected such that the beekeepers abandoned the hives. This project will employee various mitigation measures while incorporating indigenous and scientific knowledge as well as beekeepers’ involvement. The various mitigation measures to be used will be determined by the intensity of the attacks and the accessibility of the site.