Bees to make elephants 'buzz off'
( BBC ) - The buzz of angry bees could provide some relief for African villagers whose crop fields are regularly pillaged by hungry elephants.
Oxford University researchers found that elephants would quickly vacate a spot after hearing recordings of bees.
The insects are able to inflict painful stings inside the animals' trunks, and it is thought that elephants have learned to avoid them.
The research is reported in the scientific journal Current Biology.
"We're a bit cautious about how effective this would be on a large scale," lead researcher Lucy King told the BBC News website from Kenya, where she is running field trials.
"But bees may become one deterrent that farmers could use in the right situation."
Elephants are partial to maize, the principal crop for millions of Africans. Typically the animals seek out the crops just before harvest time.