Worker honeybees are all females and are the only bees most people ever see. They forage for food and build and protect the hive, among many other societal functions. (photo/Stephen Buchman)

Early historical records reveal that “crow” has long been synonymous with “despicable predator“.

King Henry VIII put a public bounty on the crow along with its relation the rook. The crow also has a special distinction in the United States.

During World War II, it was designated as an enemy of the American public and was subject to a widespread propaganda campaign that stated the “black bandits” were robbing the nation’s farms of grain.

In the early years of agriculture, conditions were ideal for supporting large crow populations, especially in the farm belt.

In 1937, 26,000 birds were killed in one roost in Oklahoma. In 1940, 328,000 crows were killed in roosts in Illinois. Sometimes, trapping and poisoning were also used to limit crow numbers.

In Tokyo Japan, instead of shooting, poisoning etc – conservationists has a creative solution. They use honeybee to repel the crows, based on the insects’ tendency to attack anything dark-colored that approaches their hives.

This year beehives from rural areas were relocated to the top of a large water-treatment facility near Tokyo’s international airport, where as many as 4,000 birds known as little terns nest after a long migration from Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea.

The terns near the airport have long been victims of Tokyo’s crows. In a single prolonged attack five years ago, about 60 crows picked off roughly 300 eggs and 160 young birds, and fewer terns have come to the nesting site since then.

“The young can’t defend themselves against the crows, so we tried to find ways to protect them at the nesting site,” said Naoya Masuda, a member of the nonprofit Little Tern Project.

“One thing we tried was putting netting in the trees and stringing up fishing lines, but nothing worked.”

Via: National Geographic