SUSTAINING BEEHIVE-FENCE TO REDUCE ELEPHANT ENCROACHMENT IN OIL PALM PLANTATION
Received: 23 August 2021 Accepted: 4 July 2022 Published Online: 23 August 2022
Human-elephant conflict is among the important issues debated since the oil palm industry was established in Malaysia. Various mitigation methods have been implemented to reduce economic loss due to crop raiding by the elephants, but none seems to be highly effective. Hence, the beehive-fence (BHF) was implemented as an alternative control method in Ladang Jernih Oil Palm Plantation in Terengganu, Malaysia. However, data from previous BHF studies showed that the number of bee colonies had reduced over time due to various reasons. In this article, we present the challenges of sustaining the Asian honeybee, Apis cerana, colonies used for the BHF project in Ladang Jernih. We collected data on pests and predators, bee activity levels, food sources and the number of elephant encroachment incidents. Although the number of elephant encroachment incidents in Ladang Jernih was reduced, we found that the beehives faced a significantly high number of pest infestations. The activity levels of the bee colonies were also found to be passive due to limited food sources. We therefore conclude that the BHF may become another sustainable mitigation method to reduce elephant encroachment, but more attention must be given to the bee colonies to ensure the success of this eco-friendly mitigation effort.KEYWORDS:
1 TDM Berhad, Jalan Masjid Abidin,
20100 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia.
2 Fakulti Sains dan Sekitaran Marin,
Universiti Malaysia Terengganu,
21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia.
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