Elephants may be saved by fear of bees
A British scientist has won a coveted environment research prize for showing how bees can be used to reduce conflict between people and elephants.
Lucy King's work proved that beehive "fences" can keep elephants out of African farmers' fields or compounds.
The animals are scared of bees, which can sting them inside their trunks, and flee when they hear buzzing.
Dr King received the Unep/CMS Thesis Prize at the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) meeting in Norway.
"Her research underlines how working with, rather than against, nature can provide humanity with many of the solutions to the challenges countries and communities face," said Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Programme (Unep).
"Dr King's work spotlights an intelligent solution to an age-old challenge, while providing further confirmation of the importance of bees to people and a really clever way of conserving the world's largest land animal for current and future generations."
The African-born scientist, whose research was supervised at Oxford University, said she was delighted and surprised to receive the prize, which is given every three years to a particularly outstanding PhD thesis in the conservation field.
"I just couldn't believe it when I heard - it was such a boost, and a wonderful thing to be recognised at that level," she told BBC News.
"Especially after spending five years out in the bush bouncing around in a landrover - it was wonderful."