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Beehive Fence to keep Elephants out  RSS feed

 
Chelle Lewis
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Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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Don't you love it!

It seems that in spite of the fact they are the biggest animals on the continent, African elephants don’t like bees. They go out of their way to avoid them.

Despite their thick hides, adult elephants can be stung around their eyes or up their trunks, while calves who have not developed this thick skin could potentially be killed by a swarm of stinging bees.

Now some clever scientists from Oxford University have come up with a natural way to keep crop-raiding elephants away from human settlements. They made a fence out of beehives................


Rest of the article here..... http://wildtracks.wordpress.com/2009/06/18/elephants-bee-ware/

Just got to be a solution for raiding monkeys too! 

Chelle

 
                    
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That IS really cool!  I wonder if this is behind the "elephants are afraid of mice" idea (or is that true?  I haven't a clue.).  African honey bees have a rep for being more aggressive, is that true in your experience
 
Chelle Lewis
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Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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marina phillips wrote:
That IS really cool!  I wonder if this is behind the "elephants are afraid of mice" idea (or is that true?  I haven't a clue.).  African honey bees have a rep for being more aggressive, is that true in your experience? 

We have the gentle Cape Bee around here... but I have heard of some real horror stories of Africanized Bees taking over colonies... known as "killer bees"... and hyper-aggressive. It started with Tanzanian queens being released by accident somewhere in South America.. and they hybridised into these killer bees.

Chelle
 
                    
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Because south africa was colonized, do you think that "cape bees" are actually european bees?  Totally right, it's the crosses between continental species that make the really scary bees.  They only attack if provoked, but then they'll sting til the death of the trespasser.    That's a day ruiner if there ever was one. 
 
Chelle Lewis
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I don't know.... about them being European bees... but suspect you could be right. So much was brought over. Especially early on in the Cape. South Africa was colonised by the English, French and Dutch. English stayed English and French and Dutch became Afrikaans. Can see it in the surnames. Anything European that could be adapted in the "new country" was adapted. Is even how we have Purslane... brought as a vege with early English Settlers. And wines... from France..... etc. 

I saw a news clip once of those bees. Terrifying. I wouldn't want to upset a hive of normal bees... and neither it seems would elephants ..... so can just imagine with such aggressive creatures. The lady died. Really shocking. I wonder what could be done to undo this tragic mistake? Their aggression seems to make them able to thrive.

Chelle
 
                    
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Well, I guess the hope is that they will cross with gentler bees over time and those aggressive genes will be diluted?  I dunno.  I've read that it's common for "domesticated" bees (selected for more honey production, gentleness etc) are usually the ones that end up causing the most problems when they cross with wild bees again.  I think the "killer bees" were created by an experiment in domestication that got loose...and bred with s. american bees...with the horrible result.  I think we should probably just consider them a wild animal that we can contain and carefully harvest from, and avoid breeding them on purpose.  But who am I to say? 
 
Chelle Lewis
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I found this... here.... http://www.insecta-inspecta.com/bees/killer/


WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF ATTACKED?

· Africanized bees are slow fliers and most healthy people can out run them.

· Run away in a straight line, protecting your face. Avoid other people, or they too will be attacked.

· Do not try and hide underwater. The Africanized bee swarm will wait for you to surface.

· Seek medical attention. Some people are allergic to bee stings causing anaphylactic shock. Since Africanized bees attack and sting in great numbers, it is possible that an allergic response may be triggered.
With normal honey bees you can hide under water. Seems like you just have to out-run these ones.

ATTEMPTS TO STOP

     Entomologists in Texas are working hard to track the northward spread of Africanized bees. The bees are tracked with traps. Usually these traps are nothing more than cardboard boxes covered with blue protective plastic, hung in trees. The traps are baited with a liquid similar to the pheromone that directs a swarm looking for a home. In Texas, more than 1,200 bee traps have been set along hundreds of miles of roadway. European honey bee sperm is inserted into a Africanized bee queen. The queen is then released into the wild. Scientists are hoping the injected Killer Bee queen will produce less aggressive bees and pass the gene to the offspring. So far, not enough queens have been released into the wild to determine if this plan will be successful.
The whole article is quite interesting.

Chelle

 
Chelle Lewis
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I was just thinking....

Yesterday I was watching bees going in and out of my pumpkin flowers. Such busy gentle creatures .... and they just ignored me peering in at them. Killer bees would not have even let me nearby. I hope they do succeed in this re-hybridising programme to quieten them down.

Chelle
 
Jennifer Smith
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Cyara wrote:
Just got to be a solution for raiding monkeys too!  :-

I am hearing this is a real trouble for you...

I have never had to deal with monkeys.  I do remember looking at a mango plantation way down south before buying this place and the monkeys were a deal breaker for me.  I realy do not like them. 

So maybe we can do some research, what eats a monkey?  A lion?  Then back to lion poo.  Maybe snakes eat them? 

Can you trap them?  Maybe just like mouse traps to teach them to keep their hands to themselves?  Or an air rifle for same, not to injure but to teach them to leave your stuff alone?
 
Chelle Lewis
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Hi Jennifer,

You are hearing right.... they are a problem. You were wise to see them as a deal breaker.

If they just ate a bit of what was ripe... finished.. and moved on. But they even bite into what is green and throw it down and do it again. Just waste. They are also very destructive. I had some corn doing really nicely... silks starting to show. They just bent them in half... go figure... no idea why. Destroyed. The granadillas get flowers.. they eat the flowers...I have not had grapes or pomegranates in 4 years now. They dig into the compost and leave a mess that takes a good 15 minutes to clear up. Clean the car... they pee and poo on it. Not welcome. Used to think they were cute... now fed-up when I see them. Got to run and shut doors and windows when I hear them on the roof. They really make a clatter.... so at least that is warning.

I need electric fencing and dogs. Used to have dogs.. and no monkeys came then....My dogs were lovely animals... but so wild here they would go off hunting at night. Did not return one night. I don't have the bucks to fence it all in so didn't get more dogs... too heart-breaking. They need proper boundaries to guard and keep them from hunting. We have leopard, snakes, baboon... All dangerous to a dog. I also heard tha Malawians from up north eat dog. Maybe true, maybe not. Just know my dogs did not return. They were friendly animals.

I am constantly looking for ways to deter them from coming here. A friend even shot out the main male who was teaching them to come in the house ...but they still came back... or maybe was another troop. Wish there was a way we could just live alongside. I thought to grow enough for them and me... but they think it is Monkey hotel... I do the work... they eat... and I clean up!

I have recently put plastic snakes near the back door and they don't come inside so willingly now. Used to zip inside and steal fruit or bread or whatever.. and be out again before you hardly knew.. usually knew it by the mess. Now the male will tentatively peer around the door to see if snakes are inside, I think, and gives me time to see him and chase him. I chase him with a plastic snake "writhing" on my arm.. too funny. Does get him bothered. They are definitely afraid of snakes. Might just get a whole lot more plastic ones... but is not a permanent solution. I think I will one day have to put up electric fence. Wish I knew how to do it myself... the quotes are heavy for all round the farm.... even if just around the house and part of the farm. Once I get the farm producing I will get moving on that... but so long I just keep looking for deterrents. That is why the bee-fence caught my attention. Glad it is working to stop the elephants.. they would destroy everything..... and stuff takes so long to grow.

Ah well... 

Chelle
 
Jennifer Smith
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We keep rubber snakes ont the outside tables to keep the chickens off.

I can only repeat, train the monkeys that live there... "ouch, that hurts, I will not do that anymore".

At least they are not throwing things at you.  The bigger the primate the more scared I am of them. 

Where do you live?  Can I see photos?
 
Chelle Lewis
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Only ouch-that-hurts they seem to understand is electric fence with dogs... well is all I have seen so far. Live on in hope for another solution till I can do that. Will be wanting to electrify when Food Forest really productive anyway... to keep 2-legged "Sharers" out too. Also to protect my tilapia... fishing the river is a favourite source of food to the locals... and is perfectly reasonable to me.... but my tilapia would be easy prey when in serious production.

Even shooting out the male monkey that was marauding in the house didn't seem to make an impression on the troop.... accepting that there is one troop and not two... trying to check this out. We have even wondered if they even noticed! I know that the males are the ones that travel from troop to troop... maybe just thought he moved on. It was a pretty desperate measure for us to go to those lengths but I refuse to let an animal harrass me in my own home... keeping doors and windows shut on hot days so I don't have to clean up monkey pee and poop off my tables and floors. We only have air-con in the main lounge. Yes, at least they are not throwing things at us. Baboons are like that.... will even jump you..... pretty scarey animals.....massive teeth. A friend up the way saw a male baboon in her garden last Saturday in the early morning.... and it was so enormous that she didn't dare go out till he moved on.... doesn't want to let her little pooch outside now. Make a nice little breakfast. I have heard the baboons calling ... but never seen any on my property. With the Food Forest on the way I will need to get serious about protection... so maybe the monkeys are a blessed wake-up call. Getting me thinking in the right direction. Ironically the baboons would chase the monkeys away.... so would the leopard we occasionally see. But what would they bring instead? If I could record a convincing baboon or leopard call and have it triggered by the presence of monkeys...!!! LOL can you see me dreaming!  Place it inside a wooden carved baboon or something.... sitting up and on watch.... nice and ERNORMOUS... and move it about from time to time. Too marvellous! Aah well... 

I live in South Africa alongside the Crocodile River .... not far up from the Hartbeespoort Dam. Will dig out some pics and upload from my desktop... on my laptop right now and upload is very slow. Will try do it later today.

Do the snakes work with the chickens?

Chelle
 
Jennifer Smith
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Yes electric fence would make me feel better if I were you too.  So looking forward to photos.  This is great, I will never travel but I can see the world anyway.

I had put some thought into the monkey thing and came up with an air rifle, a bb gun, and training them like I did the the horses at my parents as a child. 

The horses had it in for the trees so when I put them out I hid and spanked them when they started in on the trees. 

At the place in alabama we had an alligator problem but was not a problem for me.  I just threw rocks often and rode my horses anywhere on our place I wanted.  Alligators and horses do not throw back.

I decided to pass on the mango plantation after all.  Now I am looking out my window at snow instead.

What about leg hold traps?  cruel maybe ... wonder what a screaming monkey would make the rest do ... might under size them, like big mouse traps, will not kill or maime but hurt? Something they can get off eventually.  Rat traps placed about?
 
                    
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Wow, chelle.  The monkeys make the worst deer pressure that exists in the states sound like a cake walk!  A deer would never come in the house and poo on things.  Geeze.  Good luck.  Do you have any shared property lines with a neighbor? Perhaps you could convince them to share cost of the fence, since it would fence off their place too?  Dunno....sounds like a tough situation. 
 
Jennifer Smith
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And the rubber snakes work better on some chickens than others.  Some are better hunters  and are more agressive than other chickens... some even attack small snakes I hear.  But yes it workes well on my sissy chickens. 

I have culled any agressive roosters out years ago.
 
                    
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I saw a monkey trap where you put a piece of fruit into a hole that's big enough for the monkey to get his open hand in, but too small to get the hand holding the piece of fruit back out.  I don't really know how this would translate into something that would help your situation, but it sure looks funny to see a monkey with his hand in the hole, refusing to leave because he wants the danged banana and won't let go.  It would work in an area without any "easy gets" fruit, but at your place it sounds like they think you grow fruit just for them. 
 
Chelle Lewis
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Looking down on the farm. I only have smallish acerage around the house with some river-frontage. The monkey pic is of a baby... can see how hard it is to kill them. Is probably why they have got to such a nuisance level.


Looking-Down-on-the-Farm-(Small).JPG
[Thumbnail for Looking-Down-on-the-Farm-(Small).JPG]
Baby-Vervet-(Small).JPG
[Thumbnail for Baby-Vervet-(Small).JPG]
 
Chelle Lewis
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Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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Jennifer Smith  "listenstohorses" wrote:
Yes electric fence would make me feel better if I were you too.  So looking forward to photos.  This is great, I will never travel but I can see the world anyway.
Yes. Is neat. Even when I watch TV I figure I am seeing places. I love to travel... see how people live and think about life.

I had put some thought into the monkey thing and came up with an air rifle, a bb gun, and training them like I did the the horses at my parents as a child. 
Untrainable... too fast... and practiced and clever thieves... expect you to be angry but just run and swing from tree to tree.

The horses had it in for the trees so when I put them out I hid and spanked them when they started in on the trees. 

At the place in alabama we had an alligator problem but was not a problem for me.  I just threw rocks often and rode my horses anywhere on our place I wanted.  Alligators and horses do not throw back.

I decided to pass on the mango plantation after all.  Now I am looking out my window at snow instead.
Monkeys are no fun. I will win. To be honest wish I could find a win-win solution. Wouldn't mind growing lots and sharing a bit with them... but they raid and damage.

What about leg hold traps?  cruel maybe ... wonder what a screaming monkey would make the rest do ... might under size them, like big mouse traps, will not kill or maime but hurt? Something they can get off eventually.   Rat traps placed about?
I heard someone say should catch one and paint it white... that scares them... but I don't know if I could do that... even if I knew how to catch the critters. Bit of a love-hate relationship. They are so human-like in their behaviour it makes it difficult. The little ones fight like children and scream when being disciplined or even groomed cos don't want to sit still... stuff like that makes it conflicting to deal with them.

Chelle
 
Chelle Lewis
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Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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marina phillips wrote:
Wow, chelle.  The monkeys make the worst deer pressure that exists in the states sound like a cake walk!  A deer would never come in the house and poo on things.  Geeze.  Good luck.  Do you have any shared property lines with a neighbor? Perhaps you could convince them to share cost of the fence, since it would fence off their place too?  Dunno....sounds like a tough situation. 
The guy on my one side has an electric fence up so that would help... and when he is home with his dogs he has no monkey raiding.... but no neighbours on other sides.

I also thought of putting up living fencing in a double row... and then ostriches between... might still one day do that in parts. But would take up quite a bit of land around.

Yes.. is rough with the mess they make. Is why we took out the one male. Don't need him teaching the others about raiding inside. They are very clever and learn fast. And he was amazingly insolent in his confidence.

Chelle
 
Chelle Lewis
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Jennifer Smith  "listenstohorses" wrote:
And the rubber snakes work better on some chickens than others.  Some are better hunters  and are more agressive than other chickens... some even attack small snakes I hear.  But yes it workes well on my sissy chickens. 

I have culled any agressive roosters out years ago.
Ihave had a little success with the rubber snakes... so will buy more. But I keep wondering when they will work out that not alive...

I need to get tough chickens here because of snakes. Plan to get Australorp and breed them to Ovambo..

Australorp. Very good egg-laying but a nice size bird too

Ovambo... black too... but hardy... survives under harsh conditions. Won't be harsh here... but want birds that can defend themselves from snakes.

Chelle
Ovambo.JPG
[Thumbnail for Ovambo.JPG]
 
Chelle Lewis
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marina phillips wrote:
I saw a monkey trap where you put a piece of fruit into a hole that's big enough for the monkey to get his open hand in, but too small to get the hand holding the piece of fruit back out.  I don't really know how this would translate into something that would help your situation, but it sure looks funny to see a monkey with his hand in the hole, refusing to leave because he wants the danged banana and won't let go.  It would work in an area without any "easy gets" fruit, but at your place it sounds like they think you grow fruit just for them. 
They do that here with pumpkins that have a hand-sized hole... and pumpkin seeds. The farmers do it to catch baboons. It really is funny! As you say... too much food here. But worth remembering... one day could be useful. Hadn't realised they had used it on monkeys... but... why not?!! 

Chelle
 
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