Et le bzzzz! Bell Centre roof becomes home to thousands of bees

The Bell Centre isn't buzzing with hockey, but there are now tens of thousands of bees calling the arena's roof home.

In a normal year, the Bell Centre would be abuzz on nights when the Habs are playing at home. This year, the only thing buzzing at the arena are tens of thousands of bees.

The roof of the arena, like other rooftops across the city, has become home to several hives.

“It's a strong symbol of Montreal. It's definitely an emblen of the culture here in the city,” said Simon-Julien Lacroix, an urban beekeper with Alveole. “Like many others, I've been watching the Habs since I was young and now I actually get to have an intimate relationship with this institution. It's doubly special.”

Alveole, whose mission is to de-mystify the world of bees, has 400 hives spread among the city's rooftops. The organization teaches businesses and schools what they can do to help the declining bee population, such as eating local or planting flowers.

Lacroix said the organization was thrilled to partner up with the Canadiens.

“We've had great success so far with our beehives in the city,” he said. “There's some advantages to being in the city, such as having a slightly longer season. It's slightly warmer here.”

The Bell Centre bees can travel as far as five kilometres from their hive, foraging on flowers, clovers and maple. They then bring back pollen and nectar to make honey.

This summer, the bees produced 15 kilograms of honey, but on a November day, they were getting ready for the cold.

“Right now, they're just keeping warm. They're telling each other messages, they communicate with smells and dances,” said Lacroix.

Gabrielle Fahmy CTV News Montreal Videojournalist

 

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