Honey boxes, bamboo shoots to keep elephants away in Uttarakhand (India)


Seema Sharma, Times of India

Date Published

DEHRADUN: Taking a cue from the green methods adopted in elephant-infested areas in Kenya and Sri Lanka, the U’khand forest department has flagged off its pilot project in Kotdwar in which honey boxes are being used to keep the elephants away. The villagers who will maintain these boxes will have rights over the honey produced from the boxes. In addition, ten thousands plants of Bambusa Bambos have been sown in the region, which will grow up to 8-9 feet and will be so thickly entangled that experts say elephants will not be able to cross these plantations.

Paramjeet Singh, chief executive officer of CAMPA who introduced the pilot project said, “The countries like Kenya and Sri Lanka which have significant population of elephants have adapted the honey bee methods and got excellent results in keeping elephants away from human habitat. Under elaborate scientific study done in this regard, it has been found that the elephants keep away from the area which has honey bees because the murmuring sound of honey bees irritate them.”
He said, every year large sum of amount is spent from limited budged of the forest department on building walls in various reserve forests to keep elephants off from the residential localities. But if Bambusa Bambos plants are grown, the branches of which are so thickly entangled and attain height of some 8 to 9 feet that the elephants can not cross them, then lot of money can be saved through these green methods. This project becomes successful then it will be replicated all across the state forests as well.
Nitishmani Tripathi, divisional forest official of Lansdowne Forest Division said , “A stretch of ten km from Lalpani to Sneh in Kotdwar has been covered with around 200 honey boxes in two rows. The villagers will manage the boxes which have been provided free of cost to them. The flora of nearby forest too has been facilitated from them. They will have all the rights to sell the honey as well. The villagers have been provided training from the experts in this regard.”
He said, the area has lot of elephants. To avoid their invasion, some patches of walls too have been built in the area. Now the green wall will do the needful in covering the entire stretch.