Honeybees to take the sting out of human-elephant conflict in MP-


Express News Service

BHOPAL:  The Madhya Pradesh forest department is banking on the power of bees to prevent incidents of human-elephant conflict (HEC) in the jungles of the eastern districts of the state. The department has released a 25-page document enumerating the Recommended Operating Procedures (ROPs) to prevent HEC, including the recommendation to promote beekeeping in forest areas with frequent movement of wild tuskers from Chhattisgarh.

“Elephants are afraid of bees, as they can sting them in the trunk and eyes. The collective buzzing of bees troubles elephant. Keeping bee boxes on the route of the elephants will prevent them from intruding into human habitat,” the document says.

It further recommends taking assistance of the union ministry for micro, small and medium enterprises to promote beekeeping among villagers residing in forest areas, or in the vicinity of forests where wild elephants movement is frequently reported. It also talks about the necessity for linking beekeeping promotion scheme with the National Rural Livelihood Mission to ensure proper compensation to bee-keepers in the event of destruction/damage to the bee boxes by elephants.

According to the MP’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forests JS Chauhan, organised beekeeping could be one of the possible mechanisms through which human-elephant conflict can be prevented. However, Bhopal-based wildlife activist Ajay Dubey says the idea has some inherent problems.

“Can the state forest department tell us if this idea has been successfully implemented somewhere and achieved desired results? Further, in case of being bitten by a bee, how can it be ensured that the wild elephant in painful anger will only take a route which doesn’t have human habitats? Also, these forest areas also have significant sloth bear population. What will happen if the bees end up attracting the bears to intrude and cause human casualties?” Dubey said.

“Instead of going for an interstate strategy with Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha, the MP government is banking on such procedures to prevent HEC incidents,” he added. Rising HEC incidents have led to 26 human casualties and also resulted in incidents of electrocution, poisoning of tuskers.

BHOPAL:  The Madhya Pradesh forest department is banking on the power of bees to prevent incidents of human-elephant conflict (HEC) in the jungles of the eastern districts of the state. The department has released a 25-page document enumerating the Recommended Operating Procedures (ROPs) to prevent HEC, including the recommendation to promote beekeeping in forest areas with frequent movement of wild tuskers from Chhattisgarh.

“Elephants are afraid of bees, as they can sting them in the trunk and eyes. The collective buzzing of bees troubles elephant. Keeping bee boxes on the route of the elephants will prevent them from intruding into human habitat,” the document says.

It further recommends taking assistance of the union ministry for micro, small and medium enterprises to promote beekeeping among villagers residing in forest areas, or in the vicinity of forests where wild elephants movement is frequently reported. It also talks about the necessity for linking beekeeping promotion scheme with the National Rural Livelihood Mission to ensure proper compensation to bee-keepers in the event of destruction/damage to the bee boxes by elephants.

According to the MP’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forests JS Chauhan, organised beekeeping could be one of the possible mechanisms through which human-elephant conflict can be prevented. However, Bhopal-based wildlife activist Ajay Dubey says the idea has some inherent problems.

“Can the state forest department tell us if this idea has been successfully implemented somewhere and achieved desired results? Further, in case of being bitten by a bee, how can it be ensured that the wild elephant in painful anger will only take a route which doesn’t have human habitats? Also, these forest areas also have significant sloth bear population. What will happen if the bees end up attracting the bears to intrude and cause human casualties?” Dubey said.

“Instead of going for an interstate strategy with Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha, the MP government is banking on such procedures to prevent HEC incidents,” he added. Rising HEC incidents have led to 26 human casualties and also resulted in incidents of electrocution, poisoning of tuskers.



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