ERP Honey: helping communities, bees and trees

November 30, 2021
Written by EPI-USE Labs Staff writer

EPI-USE Labs is a global company with hubs throughout Europe, the United Kingdom, the Americas, Australia, the Philippines, South Africa, the Middle East and Turkey.

This clever ERP Honey initiative mitigates human-elephant conflict and reduces damage to crops and trees by simply placing a bee hive among tree branches. Read more in this blog.

Our Group operates under a hybrid business model, contributing a percentage of revenue to nonprofit work, going ‘Beyond Corporate Purpose’ with Elephants, Rhinos & People (ERP) or ERP redux. Led by Portia Morudi, ERP Honey is an impact investment initiative promising income generation and food security for ERP’s beneficiary communities, growth in the local bee population, and protection for sensitive trees. Beehive fencing is a field-proven means of mitigating human-elephant conflict, and reducing damage to crops and trees.

ERP Honey’s newest community-based project is in ERP’s Melorane Game Reserve, adjacent to South Africa’s 5th largest conservation area, where ERP has long-term rights on community-owned land, soon to house an ERP-established and run rhino sanctuary. In addition to the rhino sanctuary, the reserve will soon become home to elephants, so taking steps now to protect sensitive and environmentally- or culturally-important trees, is prudent.

ERP field staff are presently surveying large and endangered tree species, to identify candidates for protection by bees. ERP Honey protects trees by simply placing a hive among the branches, rather than having to fence in the trees, as is done in the case of protecting subsistence farmers’ crops in rural villages, from elephant intrusions. Our fieldwork has established that elephants avoid trees that are host to bee populations.

 

This clever ERP Honey initiative mitigates human-elephant conflict and reduces damage to crops and trees by simply placing a bee hive among tree branches.
This massive, spectacular lead wood tree – so named because of it’s dense and heavy wood – was recently selected for protection by ERP Honey’s field staff, with the hive perched sentinel-style about 2 meters up from ground level, and now occupied by African honey bees. While the tree no doubt still faces many existential threats, its risk of being uprooted by an exuberant elephant is now dramatically reduced.

For more information on ERP Honey, please contact portia.morudi@erp.ngo.

 

ERP-Honey 1   ERP Honey 2

 

 

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