Designer waxes lyrical about the benefits of bee-keeping

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 19 July, 2010, 12:00am

While most of us would choose to visit a grocery store for honey, London-born Hong Kong designer Michael Leung keeps 20,000 bees in an industrial building in Ngau Tau Kok for such needs.

Leung even launched his own label, HK Honey, at Kapok lifestyle shop on Sun Street, Wan Chai last Friday, selling his homemade honey and beeswax candles.

'Bees like the humidity in Hong Kong, and also, the weather is warm all year round,' said the 27-year-old, who started the project in January.

He became curious after visiting a bee farm in Sweden last year and came back wanting to create his own.

'Bees are very hardworking and useful,' he said, extolling the benefits of the insects. 'They produce honey, beeswax and their role in pollination provides us with vegetables and fruit.'

Keeping bees in a city is not an easy task however. Leung learned it the hard way - having been stung four times - but this hasn't deterred him.

'I love learning new things even if they are not directly related to art and design,' said the graduate of Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication.

Leung's bee project also inspired a few of his arty friends. A bee-themed exhibition featuring pinhole photography of the bee hives by Martin Cheung Chun-yeung and illustrations by Eric Young and Benny Luk accompanied the honey product launch.