High up in the hills above Hong Kong, Yip Ki-hok uses nothing but his bare hands to remove a honey-filled nest of swarming bees -- a remarkable skill he learned after the hardship of China's famine years.
While most new beekeepers buy insects from those with already established colonies, Yip prefers a more organic method, trekking into the hills and catching wild bees using skills he developed through trial and error from the age of seven.The 62-year-old effortlessly moves through bush and dense thickets, far from the official hiking trails, and pauses at a hole in the hillside he knows will contain a bee colony.Lighting five incense sticks to placate the bees, he waits for the smoke to take effect and then reaches into the hole, removing chunks of the hive along with handfuls of bees.
Remarkably he is only stung twice. The trick, he explains, is to remove as much of the hive as possible without killing or losing the vital queen.
"If you wear gloves, then you don't know how much strength you're using," he tells AFP. "If you use too much strength and accidentally kill the queen, it's very troublesome, it'll be very hard to take the hive back."