After its success in Karnataka, the Project RE-HAB (Reducing Elephant-Human Attacks using Bees) has now been launched in Assam by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
What is Project RE – HAB?
The objective of Project RE-HAB is to ward off elephant attacks in human habitations using honey bees. Under the Project RE – HAB “bee fences” are created to mitigate human – elephant conflicts in the country.
These honey bees in the fences are used to dissuade elephants without causing any harm to them. The process is extremely cost-effective as compared to other measures like digging trenches or erecting fences.
It is highly cost – effective as compared to erecting fences or digging trenches. Simultaneously, it increases honey production and increases farmer income. Also, the project has multi-pronged benefits like increasing farmers’ income through beekeeping, addressing climate change and regenerating forest cover.
How does the project work?
Under the project, the bee boxes are placed on the passageways of elephants. The buzz of the bees irritates the elephants the most. They fear that the honey bees might sting them in the inner side of their trunks and eyes. And therefore, they do not walk ahead of the boxes. The boxes are connected with a string. When the elephants try to pass through the string, a pull or tug causes the bees to swarm towards the elephant.
Which Agency Rolls out the Project RE – HAB
The Project RE – HAB is implemented by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC). The KVIC is a statutory body established under Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act, 1956.
It functions under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
The main function of KVIC is to plan, promote, organize and implement programmes for the development of Khadi and village industries in rural areas.
Project RE – HAB a sub – mission to National Honey Mission
The Project RE – HAB is a sub mission to National Honey Mission of KVIC. It was launched to provide awareness and training in using bee boxes along the bee colonies. The mission was launched in 2017 and is in line with Sweet Revolution.
Where was Project RE – HAB launched?
The Project was first launched in Karnataka. Buoyed by the huge success in the state and its launch in Assam, it will also be implemented in West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
What is the need for the project?
Between 2014 and 2019, around 403 deaths occurred due to elephant – human conflict. 397 deaths occurred in Odisha, 349 in Jharkhand, 332 in Assam, 170 in Karnataka and 289 in Chhattisgarh. Also, around 500 elephants died in human – elephant conflict in the last five years alone.