TIL: Bees Could Help Save Elephants—By Scaring Them

"Elephants versus bees: Who wins? In one corner, you have the African elephant, weighing in at around 2,000 pounds. In the other, the tiny African honeybee, weighing about one-tenth of a gram. Seems like a quick win for the elephant, but the African honeybee is a fighter, armed with an aggressive temperament and hundreds of friends ready to join the fight. An elephant’s thick hide shields its body from most stings, but it has a weakness: its trunk. Ever have a bee fly up your nose? Ouch! No wonder elephants run when they hear bees buzzing.

Who’s the real winner, though? Turns out it’s probably elephants. Conservation groups have developed innovative ways of using elephants’ fear of bees to protect them from potentially dangerous conflicts with humans. By harnessing the bees' buzz, conservationists can actually save elephants.

In this episode of Today I Learned, National Geographic Emerging Explorer Paula Kahumbu explains how elephants' surprising fear of bees is actually helping to protect them."

PRODUCER/EDITOR: Laurence Alexander
SERIES PRODUCER: Christopher Mattle