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The Hambantota District Secretariat is planning on implementing a project to establish colonies of bees in Sooriyawewa and other areas to minimize elephants encroaching and raiding vulnerable villages.
Hambantota District Secretary W.H. Karunaratne said that elephant ranges and areas in which the animals roam would be gazette soon.
The setting up of bee colonies is one alternative to the elephant problem while at the same time enabling people to earn an income through the harvesting of honey.
It is also believed that the conflict between elephants and humans could be reduced to a large extent.
“People involved in agriculture development suggested this. We will study how this project can be implemented and then introduce it. Rural areas will be the focus initially besides areas where there are wildlife habitats. If this proves to be a success, it will lead to a win-win situation for the denizens and the elephants. Our objectives are positive,” Karunaratne explained.
Earlier Weekend Nation reported that according to bee researchers like former Senior Lecturer and former head of the Department of Agricultural Biology of the University of Ruhuna and Chairman of the Pollinator Conservation Committee of the Pollinator Conservation Unit of the Biodiversity Secretariat of the Ministry of Environment, Dr. R.W.K. Punchihewa, the creation of barriers composed of vines including creepers trained on steel wire which are put up between footpaths used by humans and colonies of bees, could end the bee-human conflict.
The creation and declaration of bee conservation zones too would aid in the said process. RLJ