Situated at a point where different climates and species meet, Shennongjia Guanmen Mountain has an ideal environment for rich biodiversity. Within a range of 3000 km square area around Shennongjia in Muyu village, almost all species around China have representatives here, making it the gene pool of central China. According to the records, there are 3,758 plant species and more than 600 wild vertebrate species. It is also home to 36 species of wild flora under state protection and 75 species of rare wild fauna including the golden snub-nosed monkey and golden eagle. The high altitude of the Shennongjia Guanmen Mountain reserve park with a wide variety of plants also creates a perfect environment for bees.
Accordingly, the wooden beehives, which are around 700, present a magnificent sightseeing area. They hang from a cliff 4,000 feet above sea level on Guanmen Mountain. This kind of structure aims to attract bees by mimicking their natural environment. In order to collect honey, beekeepers have to climb each wooden box individually.
These beehives are important for conservation reasons as well. That is, the bees are a native species known as Asiatic honeybees which can be found throughout central China. However, the number of Asiatic honeybee number has dramatically diminished. Moreover, the honeybees of North and Northeast China have already died out. So, another reason for the local Muyu people to build the beehives at such a high altitude is to protect the honeybees from wild bees.