Can You Tell?

Q. What are these boxes and how are they helping people coexist with tigers?

Beehives under trees© TANMOY BHADURI

A. They're handmade, portable beehives, used by honey collectors who live in an area that's also home to tigers.

Traditionally, moulis (Bengali for "honey collectors") have harvested honey from wild beehives deep in the Sundarbans, a coastal mangrove forest stretching from southern Bangladesh to West Bengal in India. But communities in the region are seeking to establish safer practices, away from tiger territory. Although tigers have been known to leave the mangroves in search of prey—and both people and tigers have been killed as a result—honey collecting in the tiger's mangrove habitat is the greater risk.

In 2018, WWF-India partnered with the Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve Directorate to supply apiary (beehive) boxes to licensed local honey collectors in the Sundarbans. The boxes are set up in designated, fenced-in areas and can be relocated.

Since then, honey collectors consistently harvesting from these enclosed areas have not experienced human-tiger conflict, and honey production has increased.

Learn more about this fascinating initiative, which is just one way WWF is helping people in tiger landscapes cope with the many challenges they face.

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