An innovative project developed from the behavioural discovery that honey bees can be used as a natural deterrent to crop raiding elephants, has won the 2013 St Andrews Prize for the Environment.
In Kenya, elephants are not confined to national parks and reserves and can pose serious social, political, economic and conservation problems. Elephants run away from bee sounds and also emit a low frequency rumble, which warns other elephants. This has led to the development and testing of protective beehive fences positioned around farmers' fields. If an elephant touches a hive, the bees are released. The beehives also provide honey for the farmers.
The Elephants and the Bees view project details.
For more information visit The Elephants and Bees website.
Winner Dr Lucy King comments on the win
At a ceremony in the University of St Andrews today, Dr Lucy King was presented with the winning prize of $100,000 USD. Lucy says: 'I am delighted with this win. The recognition and financial support will enable us to expand our vital research work and protect many more rural farming families from elephant invasions.'
Trustee chairman Sir Crispin Tickell comments on the Prize
Sir Crispin Tickell, Chairman of the St Andrews Prize for the Environment Trustees, says: 'The Prize continues to go from strength to strength. It is now in its fifteenth year and we are delighted that is has become so well established and continues to attract such a range of innovative projects from all over the world. We are looking for entrepreneurs on behalf of the environment, people able to come forward with original, innovative and realistic ideas which can be replicated elsewhere, and take full account of the social and economic implications.'
The other finalists this year’s were each presented with a cheque for $25,000 USD:
CryoDesalination: saltwater desalination by freezing - a process that is environmentally-friendly, highly energy efficient, and could provide access to fresh water and improve the lives of millions of people worldwide. View Project Details.
Transforming lands, transforming lives: using the innovative, simple and cost effective technology of sandbar cropping in North West Bangladesh to transform lands that have become silted and barren by flooding. View Project Details.
Professor Louise Richardson explains the role of St Andrews University
Professor Louise Richardson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews says: 'For centuries this university has educated young people motivated by a desire to improve the world around them. We are proud to be at the cutting edge of the field of sustainability and environmental studies and to support, through the St Andrews Prize for the Environment, the current generation of creative thinkers designing solutions to today's problems.'
David Chenier comments
'By sponsoring the St Andrews Prize for the Environment, ConocoPhillips is creating a path to a more secure and environmentally conscious energy supply for future generations. This forum lets us recognise groups and individuals with innovative environmental ideas and gives us the opportunity to focus on developing and sustaining their life changing projects,' says David Chenier, President UK for ConocoPhillips.</