Bengaluru: Man-animal conflict has always been a tough challenge. Many farmers keep explosives in their fields to shoo away elephants. 

In fact, last year, there were reports that a pregnant elephant had been killed as it swallowed a fruit laden with bomb. 

Now, there is a unique and innocuous method to drive away the pachyderms. 

Boxes filled with honey are placed near the fields. These honey boxes act as repellents, in the sense that, the elephants fear them as they feel the bees might sting them and attack them on the inside of their trunks. 

Such a method has had very positive results and none other than Union minister Nitin Gadkari. 

Project RE-HAB (Reducing Elephant – Human Attacks using Bees) was launched by KVIC Chairman Shri Vinai Kumar Saxenalast month, at four locations on the periphery of Nagarhole National Park in Kodagu district of Karnataka, a note from the ministry of micro, small & medium enterprises said. 

It is to be noted that the project has a huge potential and it will soon be replicated in all states, affected by elephant attacks like West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Gadkari also emphasized on participation of the ministries of agriculture and environment and forest for effective implementation of the project across the country.

Night vision cameras fitted in these areas have captured how the pachyderms have weaned away due to the fear of the boxes. Moreover, no crops losses have been damaged. 

KVIC Chairman ShriSaxena said, “KVIC is set to replicate the project in other states, too, where a large tribal and rural population is living under the constant threat of wild elephants. Project RE-HAB will have multi-pronged benefits like reducing human-elephant conflicts, increasing farmers’ income through beekeeping, addressing climate change and regenerating forest cover”.