Dear Elephant-Ignite Expedition,
On behalf of The Elephants and Bees team, we wanted to sincerely thank you for your donation to build a new beehive fence for Felicia, a beloved farmer in Mwambiti. Felicia is a great leader and role model for many of the other female farmers in the Mwambiti community. In addition to being a hard working farmer, she is also treasurer of both the Kenyan Women’s Finance Trust and the Evangelical church in Mwambiti.
Her farm is located right next to a water pan where elephants love to come for a drink, making her farm very vulnerable to elephant crop raids. She spends a lot of time and effort trying to defend her farm from elephant visitors, who love to feed on her cassava and maize. Felicia has five children to feed, so it means a lot that this fence will help protect her farm from crop raiding elephants!
Constructing the fence was a wonderful team building experience. We set out early in the morning to start hanging up our brand new beehives. When we arrived at the farm, we were greeted by not only Felicia and her family, but also other members of the Mwambiti community eager to help. It was really moving to see how everyone came together to support Felicia and help with the building process.
Building the fence really put our strength to the test, as our first task was to carry tree trunks across the farm to be placed in the ground as posts for the beehives. Once the posts were in place, we split into teams. Some people started hanging up beehives. Others started building shades to cover the beehives and keep them cool during the day, as bees will leave a hive if the internal temperature gets too high. When the hives were all up, we filled in the gaps with “dummy” hives and wrapped iron sheets around each post to prevent honey badgers from invading each hive. The last step was to string a wire connecting each of the beehives and dummies. Then it was a real beehive fence!