The Latest Buzz about the Bee Project
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.
Kasiisi Project and COVID-19
Uganda closed its schools in March due to the corona virus pandemic. Since most of our work requires close face to face contact with students and teachers we had to find new ways to present our programs. Adhering to the Ugandan government's rules on COVID-19 safety we closed our offices and our staff worked from home. Using ingenuity and imagination they adapted quickly to the new constraints and have been able to continue with over half of our planned projects despite the virus, by using radio broadcasts to reach communities and by moving our programs into the villages.
Kasiisi Project's New Look!
The Kasiisi Project has a new website www.kasiisiproject.org and a lively new logo. A revised format, updated information, new maps and photos bring fresh life to our website, making the work we are doing in Uganda more accessible. Thanks to Eric Losh, author, illustrator and Logo designer par excellence , www.elosh.com , we also have a logo that highlights our areas of concern, Conservation, Education and Health. The lively design celebrates the children who are the primary focus of our outreach, and the color scheme pays tribute to the Ugandan flag. Eric is a good friend to Kibale and we are delighted to work with him again.
If you are not following us on Facebook you can find us at https://www.facebook.com/KasiisiProject where you will be kept abreast of all our current news
2020 Youth Art Contest Winners
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.
Introducing Kibale Explorer!
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.
Celebrating Our Closest Cousin
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.
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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.