Hong Kong - making money with honey

2011-07-17 22:10

Hong Kong - A Hong Kong man is tasting sweet success after launching a brand of honey harvested in the territory's urban jungle, a newspaper report said on Sunday.

Michael Leung tends 11 beehives in various unlikely locations, including a rooftop in the red-light district and a balcony in an up-market residential area, the Sunday Morning Post said.

"You would be surprised at the places where bees can survive and thrive," said the amateur apiarist, who is an interior designer by day.

"They can fly up to 5km away from their hives to find pollen," he said.

Bees' natural global positioning system and communication skills allow them to find and keep track of their food - flowers - even when resources are few and far between.

"It may take longer for bees to fill their combs, but it's completely possible," Leung was quoted as saying.

Leung has created a brand, HK Honey, to market the honey to shops in the territory.

He also uses his environmental enterprise to increase awareness of food issues, running tours of the beehives and workshops on honey harvesting.

On a rooftop in Wan Chai, Hong Kong's red-light district, four 50x75cm wooden frames are home to 10 000 of Leung's bees, busily building combs and making honey.

He harvests the honey once a month using what he calls the Chinese method, without smoke or protection. "If we don't startle the bees, they are harmless and friendly," he said.

Leung said he hoped to introduce bee keeping in schools and would like more building owners to allow hives on their rooftops.

- SAPA
Read more on:    animals  |  environment
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