Prizewinning research: How to fight elephants with bees
British scientist Lucy King has won a prestigious environmental award for her research, but she should also maybe get a movie deal. The substance of her research is using bees to scare off elephants, which could make an excellent blockbuster, with the addition of a few explosions and maybe a robotic bee carapace.
Also, as it happens, it helps save elephants' lives. The greatest threat to elephants, besides robotic bees, is humans — and when the animals wander into human territory, the people may respond with deadly force. This isn't a one-sided conflict, either; elephants can kill humans without even getting out of breath. The best approach is to keep them separate and try to give both species enough space.
That's where the bees come in. Elephants are scared of them, and most will flee when they hear a bee buzzing. So King encouraged Kenyan communities to build fences that incorporate beehives. Approaching elephants stir up the bees, and the noise of the bees drives them back away from the humans' habitation. Meanwhile, the farmers have an additional cash crop — honey — and the bees have headquarters for developing their robot exoskeletons. It's an elegant solution for peaceful cohabitation that leaves everyone better off.