First PUBLISHED Nov. 11, 2020. UPDATED June 24, 2021
“I am a youth aged 29 years, deeply passionate with saving elephants, wildlife conservation and rescuing all animals. How can I get support from Nikela?”
We get numerous requests for funds throughout the year. However, this email from Moses Ryakitimbo was somehow different. Sadly we’d missed meeting Moses while we were in Tanzania in early 2017, but that didn’t deter him. When he was ready to put his plan into action he reached out.
Unlike many others his plan was simple, practical, doable and within Nikela’s reach of providing assistance. Moses himself was young, dedicated, strategic and tenacious. Where others fail to push through government ‘red tape’ to establish a legal nonprofit entity, Moses did not. Where a problem seemed insurmountable, he evaluated, researched, and most importantly…acted.
It’s now more than three years later. Almost two since Moses sent us a proposal for his first beehive fence.
Saving Elephants from Human Wildlife Conflict
Moses had a plan to stop the human wildlife conflict that was getting out of hand in his area. Arusha, Tanzania is home to 416,442 people, plus 323,198 more live in the surrounding Arusha District, according to the 2012 census.
Amongst all this humanity is the Arusha National Park. This protected wildlife space of 53 square miles is home to elephants, Cape buffalo, giraffe, zebra, warthog, the black-and-white Colobus monkey, the blue monkey, flamingo, bushbuck and many other African animals, including the elusive leopard.
When wildlife and humans live in close proximity… you guessed it, conflict happens. In this case elephants get themselves in trouble. Right next to their stomping grounds are farm fields. Farmers grow tasty crops like maize which the elephants find irresistible. As you can imagine, when a huge elephant and her friends invade a farm there isn’t much left for the farmer and his family.
Farmers are brave folk. They don’t take their crops being crushed lightly. They fight back. Sadly, this generally doesn’t end well… for the elephant or the farmers.
Moses, being the sort of chap who cares about wildlife and humans, wanted to help. He wanted to stop the killing and destruction. He wanted to find a way for the elephants and the farmers to live in peace.
Moses discovered that in other countries bees kept elephants out of villages and farm fields. Yes, unlike we’ve been told, elephants are not afraid of mice, they’re afraid of bees.
Moses and his team went to work laying out plans for Phase One. This was pretty much a pilot project to see if this notion of using bees would work in his place in Tanzania.
Phase One: The Pilot Beehive Fence Project
The plan. The first set of 10 beehives would create a fence of sorts between the farm crop lands and the protected wildlife area. Moses paid particular attention to the corridors the elephants used. Elephants, like many animals create paths to food and water sources which they use over and over again.
Then there was the design of the beehives and how far apart to space them. With a limited budget for materials, building, transportation and set up Moses had to get mighty creative… or better yet innovative!
In was in early 2019 that Moses’ dream to stop human wildlife conflicts started taking shape. Nikela sponsored the first 10 beehives. Moses was thrilled, he’d been dreaming and scheming and now to actually make it happen!
The Bees Approve
Within a matter of days after the beehive fence was completed bees moved into the beehives. Within days the 20 plus elephants stopped using this corridor. The impacted farmers were astonished and super grateful. They would have crops to harvest this year!
Mr. Baraka (one of the farmers) reported, “I didn’t know that the bees will settle this mess I and friends had in our farms. But just after the first beehive installment I saw the difference within a very short time. This was a surprise to me but also a new beginning of peace between our community and elephants.”
Splendid results Moses!
Of course, this story doesn’t end here. After Phase ONE’s success more farmers wanted their farms protected from elephants with beehive fences.
Fast forward to June 2021. After sponsoring a total 0f 100 bee hives more farmers and their families are enjoying harvesting their crops. Families including Elizabeth. She is our first woman farmer who is delighted with her 8 beehives keeping elephants out of her maize crops.
Then there are other farmers so super grateful to finally have peace with the elephants.
Let’s hear from Elder Balozi.
At my old age, I thank God to have seen this miracle of bees protecting our farm’s from elephants. I am over 60 years of age now and have lived across from the Arusha national Park and never thought of beehives performing such a great job on our behalf. Thanks to Nikela for supporting this project. We now don’t have elephants disturbing us in the night time, we just hear them in other neighboring villages.
From Mr. Frank.
Well, one thing that I would like to say is that. Nikela is the best for African wildlife. All I know is because of Nikela I now see elephants as my friends. Beehives help a lot. We need more for other villages too. We have 9 Villages that also need to witness the happiness we have.
As Mr. Frank mentioned, Moses’ work is not done. It will take just 64 more beehives to keep the entire village of Lendoiya (home to around 1500 souls) and their farms protected. Then it will be time to move on to the other villages now requesting beehives.
64 More Beehives Needed
Like everywhere, COVID-19 has really taxed people’s ability to provide. Keeping the elephants out to assure food to eat is now more important than ever. Plus the added bonus of the honey is a welcome extra source of income.
To continue saving elephants, protecting farm crops and helping farmers 64 more beehives are needed as soon as possible. These 64 beehives will complete the Lendoiya Village project and bring prosperity to an entire community of families. Let’ not forget all the elephants it will keep from being speared. A true win-win situation. A true win for solving human wildlife conflict.
Here’s where you (or your company) come in.
Get your friends, or your company, to sponsor one, two or even six beehives!
For $36 each, you and two friends can sponsor one beehive, and get your names on it.
This covers the cost of the lumber and supplies, the transportation, construction, and installation of your beehive.
Now of course, should you want to get just your name, or the name of a special loved one on the beehive you can also do that for $109.50
What a grand way to celebrate a friendship or honor someone you care about during these unpredictable times.
What a grand way to do some good in a very real tangible manner.
Can’t do this alone? Get your company involved.
Sponsoring a beehive is super easy…
Your company need more info? Send us an email.
We make tax deductible donations simple
100% of your charitable donation goes to help.
Nikela is a fundraising non profit on a mission to help people protecting nature, especially doing wildlife conservation.