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Bee hives for protecting fencelines

 
Lisa Paulson
Posts: 258
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Beekeepers, anyone?  Could this ingenuity be adapted to fencelines here in say the pacific Northwest? I have horses that do not believe the confines of captivity apply to them.  Article ;

← Northern WildSea Turtle Bag Ban →Elephants Bee-warePosted on June 18, 2009 by wildtracks Now here is a unique conservation idea – working with nature, instead of against 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.


Close up of the beehive fence which can withstand crop raids by elephants. (Credit: Copyright Oxford University/Lucy King)
The fence is constructed of log beehives suspended on poles beneath tiny thatched roofs to keep off the sun. The hives are connected by eight metre lengths of fencing wire. Elephants avoid the hives and will attempt to push through the wire but this causes the hives to swing violently causing the elephants to fear an attack of angry bees.

Results of their pilot study in Kenya show that a farm protected by the beehive fence had 86%  fewer crop raids by elephants, and 150% fewer raiding elephants than a control farm without the fence.

The reduction occurred even though none of the hives were occupied, indicating the elephants remember painful past encounters with African honeybees, and avoid any suggestion of them

The beehive fence survives elephant raids, and is cheap enough for the farmers to construct themselves. The reaction from local farmers has been very positive. An additional benefit to the beehive fence is that it affords protection from cattle rustlers.

Once the hives are occupied by native honeybees, the farmers will also get two or three honey harvests a year that they can sell for additional income.

Small farmers in Africa can suffer devastating losses from crop raiding elephants. Animals who are identified as repeat offenders are often shot, so both sides lose.

Now with some clever thought from dedicated scientists, the famers, the elephants, and the honeybees will all benefit. No guns – no poison – no traps. Just a gentle nudge from nature.
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
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Build a thicker fence, if it works you are asking for a lawsuit to build it, and for more trouble than it's worth. Horses have to see a heavy fence to respect the fence, they know they can push through a strand of wire fence, so they do. By the time you put the lumber in to built the hives you might as well just build a fence that the horses will respect in the first place.
 
Lisa Paulson
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My horses  jump carrying a 200 lb guy , you have to build and awful HUGE fence
over 6 feet, and solid does not actually back them off much, they just jump bigger as they are bred , and trained to be bold over fences. 
Right now we have 10 foot posts with rails to 4'5" and  hot wire to 6'5"  the problem is if the voltage gets diluted , they just disrespect it.   I do about  4 hours of fence mending a week.   I am planting hawthorne and hedgerow but it is insane trying to keep them in line right now.  Stinging bees they would figure out very fast not to disturb and the bees would be great for pollinating the fruit trees. 

Horse jumping
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74x_gIFv93U


 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
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Well you ought to stop training him to jump fences if you want him to be easy to keep in    I know that trip wires are used to keep deer from jumping fences, might be a bit dangerous with horses though. Maybe electric is the direction you need to go in.
 
Susanna de Villareal-Quintela
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Very cool article.  I don't know that I'd try it with my horses, though.  The main reason being a little lesson learned from watching my black Great Dane wander past the bee hives (and by "wander past" I mean 20 feet or more from the entrance). 

Bees don't really favor dark colors (and I know you warmblooders love dark colors!  ) .  It seems a honeybee believes any dark, moving object is a raider!  Those bees can get downright aggressive at moving the dog away from the area and Ellie, the dog, picks-up a hasty retreat. 

I'd hate to see the same affect with a horse.  I know my Doe-berry wouldn't hesitate to clear a few obstacles to avoid bees.  God knows she's jumped higher than her size dictates just to have a good time!
 
Leif Kravis
Posts: 78
Location: Toronto Canada
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Correct me if i'm wrong, but don't horses like to know where they will land before they jump? Most animals wont jump where they can't see their footing, so wouldnt a barrier like a wide strip of landscaping cloth hung on two wires to extend the fence upward and cut off sightlines stop the jumping?or a mesh overgrown with vines, wild cucumber? virginia creeper? something useful and fast and viny? A tall clumping bamboo planting possibly, there are species for most climates apparently, in back of the fences? just throwing it out there, nice horses by the way.
 
Lisa Paulson
Posts: 258
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Well they still seem to surprise me jumping at will on the property from one area to another , but they don't leave.  I do have a small species of bamboo backing onto one section of my property from the neighbours and it is not invasive on our property at all as the horses seem to enjoy eating it.  Electric fencing seems to work sometimes but I am afraid I might have to give the horses a substantial shock so they put it in their minds once and for all not to mess with it.  And i still put up mason bee tubes (bamboo stalks bundled as I saw on this forum)  and I want to build a top bar bee hive this winter . 
 
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