Hidden among the Fragrant Hills, this museum/laboratory/ode to the profession of beekeeping is easily overlooked. While the numbers making a beeline here are unlikely to be big enough to form a swarm, the Apiculture Museum certainly has its honey-sweet moments as an alternative day out.
The museum was founded in 1958 with the support of Communist general Zhu De. Since then, it has served as a research centre affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Eighteen years ago, it was opened to the public, although profit clearly wasn’t the aim. The museum is free to enter and the curious are rewarded with an in-depth look at how bees are bred and raised. The museum is also a working research centre and, behind the scenes, scientists busy themselves with experiments and tests. For tourists, however, there are plenty of educational displays (in Mandarin) to tell you everything you need to know about our favourite little orange-striped creatures. Best of all, there’s a gift shop where you can buy all manner of bee-related products, from fresh honey to glue made with the naturally sticky stuff.
Even if you are not that into the apiary side of things, the surrounding area offers up picturesque distraction. The nearby Temple of the Reclining Buddha and overall beauty of the surrounding botanical gardens are a fine incentive to buzz along to this neighbourhood. Wang Ge