Hong Kong's Roof Top Bee Keeper Michael Leung Gives Us a Tour of His Hives
High above one of the world's busiest and most congested city streets, urban apiarist Michael Leung runs his crusade for conscious local food, documented in Virgile Simon Bertrand’s inspiring photographs. Leung founded HK Honey as a way of using his background as a product designer to introduce the largely unknown concept of sustainable food to Hong Kong. Initially starting with just a few hives on the roof of his design studio in Ngau Tau Kok, Leung developed both a brand and a responsible community around his lifestyle ideology. “By putting bees in an industrial area we are showing a bit of optimism and that it's not too late to do something about environmental change,” he explains. “Our aim is to get people to know where their food comes from and to source and buy ethically, locally and seasonally.” With hives situated on a number of cafés and design stores throughout the city—including bespoke commissions for Louis Vuitton and Lane Crawford—HK Honey also creates harvestable roof gardens and promotes the development of inner city green space. Here NOWNESS reveals the environmental importance of honeybees.
Did you know?
It is estimated that a third of everything we eat depends on the honeybee for pollination, including apples, almonds, avocados, blueberries and cranberries.
There is an average of 49,999 honeybees per hive, and only one queen.
Albert Einstein is believed to have said, “If bees disappeared off the surface of the globe, then men would only have four years of life left.”
Most of the 20,000 bee species in the world, located in almost every region, are solitary. The honeybee is one of the only species that works together.
China is the largest producer of honey in the world, estimated at 350,000 tons per year. However culturally it has not often been used as a sweetener. Even today in the interior of China, honey is only available in medicinal shops.
To produce one pound in weight of honey, a hive of bees will fly around 55,000 miles.
A single honeybee produces just one or two teaspoons worth of honey in its lifetime, and visits 36,000 flowers to do so.
In October 2008 a large banyan tree located in Bangalore, India, made the world record for the number of beehives, with 575 in the one tree.
Humans have been managing beehives to harvest honey for around 6,500 years.
Approximately ten bee stings per pound of body weight would be lethal.