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Elephant and Bee Facts

  • African elephants are the largest land animal on earth.

  • African elephants grow as tall as a 10 feet and weigh more than 6 tons.African elephants eat grasses, small plants, bushes, fruit, twigs, tree bark and roots. Tree bark is their favorite food.  An elephant eats over 300 pounds of food per day!

  • African elephants use their trunks for breathing, smelling, sucking up water and rubbing their babies.

  • African elephants have tusks that are used for digging, foraging and fighting.  African elephants also use their tusks to rest their very heavy trunks.

  • Besides hearing sounds, African elephants use their ears to radiate hot African sun and for communication. Flapping their ears can signify anger or joy.

  • East African Lowland honey bees are related to European honey bees kept by beekeepers. Sometimes they are called Africanized Bees or 'killer bees".

  • If disturbed, East African Lowland honey bees will send out more bees to sting than European honey bees. 

  • East African Lowland honey bees will chase an intruder for a further distance than European honey bees.

  • East African Lowland honey bees look very much like European honey bees but are a bit smaller.

  • Both kinds of bees collect pollen and nectar, but Western honey bees collect more nectar for making honey while East African Lowland honey collect more pollen.

  • East African Lowland honey bees often make their homes in trees or logs.  Elephants like to eat tree bark and 'bump" into the trees which causes the bees to fly out of their nests and sting soft parts on the elephants trunks and eyes.

The Elephant and Bee Project is one of Save the Elephants' programs designed to explore the natural world for solutions to human-elephant conflicts.