When you think about honey, most people imagine bees zipping through huge flower fields, with beekeepers in full-body netting caring for the hives against a backdrop of rolling hills. However, the nonprofit organization Ginza Honey Bee Project proves that nature can thrive just above our heads.
Also known as Ginpachi, the group was founded in 2006 by a few people interested in bringing nature back into Tokyo. Atsuo Tanaka, one of the organization's founding members — and current president — says the project started by chance. The original plan was to provide space on the roof of the Pulp and Paper Hall community center, which he managed, to a renowned beekeeper from Iwate Prefecture. "But that fell through, so we ended up diving in ourselves," he says, during a break from a regular weekend hive cleaning session.