The Beehive Fence Project saves both human and elephant lives every day. Due to deforestation throughout Asia, wild elephants are forced to migrate through human populated areas for their food, water and very survival. The first beehive fences were built in Thailand in 2015 by Scientist Rachaya “Pom” Arkajak and the Phuluang Wildlife Research Station in northern Loie province. Beehive fences are non-violent and profitable alternatives to deadly electric fences and other violent methods that don’t work. Beehive fences work because elephants are afraid of bees, especially African killer bees.
Beehive fences not only protect farms and families, they transform lives and build bridges for diverse communities to bond. Beekeeping empowers women by learning a new trade and forming new businesses. The fences protects 2 endangered keystone species, bees and elephants. Selling elephant friendly honey, local products and developing ecotourism that promotes awareness about endangered elephants, earns more money than elephant attracting crops. The beehive fence turns farmers into beekeepers and creates harmony where there once was terror.
This smart win-win-win solution to deadly human elephant conflict was scientifically researched, innovated and implemented by four bold brilliant women, roles models for the world to be inspired by.
Our film shares these brave women’s personal sagas of how they dedicate their lives to saving wild elephants and the people who live with them. We will take you to the wild worlds of Thailand, South Africa and Kenya, where we will learn of the origins of the first beehive fences and how they protect farmers and elephants across Africa. We’ll take you on a 2 year epic journey at Kung’s Farm and introduce you to the wild elephants of Khaeng Hang Meo in Chantaburi where HEC (human-elephant conflict) is frequent and deadly.
Meet Dararut “Kung" Sirimaha, the heart of our story. Kung protects her family from nightly terror by beekeeping and keep the fence working 24-7. She’s become a beloved national spokesperson for the beehive fence project, contrary to her quiet introverted nature. Kung’s personal story tells the Shero’s journey, a single woman who stays to care for her family in her village on her individual quest that reveals the greatest wisdom of life.
The beehive fence project proves multi-key stakeholder collaboration is essential to solve violent conflict. All factions, farmers, park rangers (national, local and volunteer), conservationists, scientists, NGO staff, volunteering travelers from around the world, join forces to build fences, harvest honey, plant trees, visit wildlife parks, educate and spread awareness to government officials, press and the public as to the effectiveness of the beehive fence.
Antoinette Vandewater, Danish activist, conservationist and recent PhD candidate, spent 13 years in Thailand first rescuing street elephants from Bangkok by bringing them to new homes at an elephant sanctuary in beautiful Chiang Mai. This filmmaker spent 2 years in volunteering for her foundation, Bring the Elephant Home www.bring-the-elephant-home.org, where she serves as a media advisor producing social media videos and helping create impact. Antoinette has a memoir/adventure book written about her work with elephants in Thailand named, The Great Elephant Escap. She recently moved to South Africa where her work continues with her mentor, Dr. Lucy King of Elephant and Bees Foundation, www.elephantsandbees.org. We will find Antoinette in South Africa and visit Dr. King in Kenya, bring back epic footage of wild African elephants, Killer bees and where the first beehive fences where researched and innovated by a small team of Disney Conservation Fund scientists led by Dr. Lucy King, making history Ourstory.
The beehive fence is the only solution to date that allows people and elephants to live together in harmony. It proves scientifically there is hope for a future world where all can share the earth and thrive.
This film shares an epic tale and dramatic true story of a working solution to violent conflict, made by heroic women using science, strategic collaboration and feminine intelligence that can be applied to the peaceful endings of violent conflict everywhere. Think of Israel and Palestine, another war over territory and access to resources. This veteran filmmaker draws from her military experience working for the National Security Agency, as she weaves the tales of 4 real life wonder women, our Sheroes, as they champion the beehive fence and save the world one farm at a time.