We were honored and thrilled recently when the Disney Conservation Fund awarded our Bee Project with support for 2023 and 2024!!
Since 2020, we have been working with Citizen Scientist farmer-beekeepers who live along the border of Kibale National Park and who maintain apiaries that, in conjunction with trenches, intend to serve as natural barriers against elephant crop-raiding.
We gather data about honey bee health in order to try to understand whether these “bee fences” can be effective over the long term at maintaining good neighborly relations between the elephants (who are terrified of bees!) and the communities of subsistence farmers just outside of KNP. Thanks to Disney, we will continue gathering data about the bees while also expanding the project to collect survey data about elephant incursions. Our Bee Project Team, will begin tracking all incidents of elephant crop-raiding and interviewing affected farmers, both in areas protected by bee fences and in areas without them. With this information, we hope to gain more insight into just how successful are our fierce winged guards at keeping the peace!
We also have been working with Citizen Science beekeepers in a region more arid than the rainforest conditions of Kibale National Park, adjacent to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The QENP beekeepers are collecting the same kinds of information about bee health as the KNP beekeepers - ability to maintain healthy temperature and humidity using BroodMinder™ devices, data from physical hive checks (e.g., number of combs where the queen bee has laid brood eggs, number of combs where the bees have gathered and stored pollen, number of combs filled with honey, presence or absence of pests like ants or beetles). Our hope is that by collecting data from a more arid region, we can isolate the effects that rainfall may have on bee health - especially as rainfall seems to be increasing around KNP as a result of climate change.
We are so grateful to the Akron Zoo for supporting this expansion of our Bee Project into QENP and to the other amazing organizations who also support our Bee Project, the National Geographic Society, the Oklahoma City Zoo, and IDEA WILD!
Bees on guard - tiny insects protect african elephants
Are you fascinated by bees? Do you love elephants? The Kasiisi Project Citizen Science project "Bees on Guard" contributes to the conservation of both these species around Kibale National Park, Uganda in partnership with local beekeeping co-operatives, the Busiriba Beekeeping and Conservation Association and Conservation to Coexist.
Elephants are magnificent and fascinating, but also enormously destructive, bringing them into frequent conflict with their human neighbors. When faced with the destruction of an entire maize crop, subsistence farmers, struggling to make ends meet, are not supporters of elephant conservation.
This is where bees come in. African honey bees, tiny as they are, have ferocious stings and elephants avoid them. When farmers string beehives along wires, forming "Bee Fences" to defend their fields, elephants look elsewhere for food. But in order to deter elephants bee colonies need to be strong and healthy, a challenge during the wet season.
Active apiaries require regular maintenance and dealing with bees fierce enough to drive off elephants requires the right equipment, with costs beyond the reach of these beekeepers. This is where you can help. You will be in great company. National Geographic, Akron Zoo and Oklahoma City Zoo have all assisted us in getting this program off the ground, but now we need to reach more farmers.
We are running a GoFundMe campaign to raise the money needed to train and equip 15 more beekeeper associations so that their apiaries support healthy bee colonies, produce honey to supplement family incomes, and are active enough to save the lives of elephants.
If you wish to make your donation a gift we can help there too. Just e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can send your recipient a card.
The Kasiisi Project proudly announces the winners of the 1st Annual Kibale Conservation Youth Art Contest. We asked children ages 5 to 18 to learn about Uganda’s Kibale National Park and express what they’ve learned by drawing, painting or sculpting one of the magnificent species that call the Park home. We were dazzled by the artists’ creativity, the variety of chosen wildlife, large and small, and the powerful messages that accompanied each piece.
Looking for fun and unique ways to connect kids with nature and wildlife during school closures? We’re here for help! Throughout the summer, we'll be sharing at-home activities and online learning resources to help bring Uganda's wildlife into your home.
In honor of our closest cousin in the animal kingdom, happy World Chimpanzee Day! Today is a celebration of chimpanzees and an opportunity to raise awareness about the vital need for worldwide participation in their care, protection and conservation in the wild and in captivity.
On July 31st, our wildlife clubs celebrated Elephant Pride Day. Over 300 children from 16 forest-edge schools marched with banners and bands through nine different villages and trading centers. Children performed skits, shared poems and sang songs about elephants for audiences of almost 1,600 villagers. Representatives from the Uganda Wildlife Authority accompanied the children and fielded questions, including some tough ones about crop raiding.
The Kasiisi Project's Improved Cookstove Initiative is one of 10 finalists selected from over 200 entries to Solution Search's Climate Change needs Behavior Change competition. Two prizes of $25,000 will be awarded to the Judges' Choice (selected by Solution Search's panel) and People's Choice (recipient of most votes).
The Kasiisi Project is the first and currently only program in Africa (that bee in the middle of the map is us!) to join Broodminders – the Citizen Science Project that seeks to monitor hive conditions all over the world.
Broodminders are placed in the hives and constantly record temperature and humidity. This information is regularly downloaded onto tablets and then uploaded to the cloud, where it becomes available to everyone engaged in the project.
Kasiisi Scholar Imelda Imetur, is working at Entebbe Airport as one of two dog handlers (both women) searching for illegal ivory in bags leaving Uganda. Imelda, who followed high school with a spell in local radio and later a diploma in tourism, has been working for the Uganda Wildlife Authority for a few years.
It's so nice when our kids are working to save Uganda’s wildlife! Her dog is from Israel, so Imelda is learning commands in Hebrew.
Thanks to generous funding from Columbus Zoo a new, Kasiisi Project/Kibale Forest Schools Program sponsored “Termite Mound”, has been built at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Lake Victoria. The tubes in the mound are filled with honey and peanut butter and the chimps fish for it using long thin sticks. This mimics behaviour in the wild when they “fish” for termites.
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The Kasiisi Project is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions to the Kasiisi Project are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. The Kasiisi Project's tax identification number is 54-2195079.