It’s estimated that a third of everything we eat depends upon honeybee pollination. —HK Honey

With a district in the city named the most densely populated area in the world in 2011, beekeeping isn’t exactly the hobby most associate with Hong Kong. Yet, this is what young urban beekeeper Michael Leung finds himself doing every day as founder of an urban beekeeping initiative called the HK (Hong Kong) Honey Project. In his talk at TEDxYouth@HongKong, part of TEDxYouthDay 2011, he explains: 

We collaborate with local artists—we found 50 artists to make 50 [beeswax] candles which reflected human rights issues such as safe food or freedom of expression

We use product designers [to communicate.] We try to make our packaging as green as possible. [Our honey jar] is just a normal drinking glass that we sourced, and the lid is made from beeswax — so when you’re finished eating the honey, you can just use the glasses for drinking and the lid as a candle. So we try to [use] real kind of new ways of packaging and minimizing waste and kind of promoting what the bees do.

[Keeping bees] made me realize that Hong Kong is not quite the concrete jungle that we all see it as. It’s kind of a urbanly dense area, but there’s loads of greenery all around that bees can fly to. They can actually fly within a 5 km radius. 

This year, the third consecutive TEDxYouthDay celebrates youth innovators and re-imaginers like Michael throughout the world. Almost 100 events are taking place during the weekend of November 17-18, and many will be streaming live online here: http://tedxyouthday.ted.com/.

(Photos: Top, modified from HK Honey, Bottom, via Hong Kong Housewife)

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