Saint-Lazare teen receives unusually sweet gift for 15th birthday
SAINT-LAZARE – In the quiet community of Saint-Lazare, you may catch sight of a few dogs, cats, maybe even some horses.
But you would never guess what’s buzzing around the Ciarallo’s family home.
For Alexis Ciarallo’s 15th birthday, her father’s friend gave her a beehive.
Yes, a hive – full of 5,000 honey bees.
“It’s kind of like a summer project,” she said. “I think it’s fun. People like taking care of animals, why not bees?”
Alexis admits, at first, the bees made her a little nervous, but she’s excited to learn more about them.
“I’m not really quite sure, like it’s new to me, taking care of bees,” she said. “But we got some books to read about and his friend will teach us a bit about how to take care of them – it’s a learning process.”
A process, she insists, that often includes misconceptions.
READ MORE: How you can help save the bees this spring
Alexis and her father, Domenico Ciarallo, explain that bees are safer than you think.
“Most people are getting stung by wasps,” said Ciarallo. “These are honey bees, their function is to make honey and to take care of the queen, which is inside of the hive.”
But why would one want a hive in their own backyard?
“Now, they’re going to start flying around within five kilometres of our home and they’re gonna be pollinating flowers and plants between that five-kilometre radius, so it’s pretty cool,” Ciarallo said.
What’s more is the bees will be helping the family give back.
Ciarallo said throughout the summer, the queen will lay thousands of eggs, creating about 45,000 more bees – growing the hive from two to five decks – producing about 80 pounds of pure honey.
“By the end of the summer, we’ll have 80 pounds of honey, so 160 bottles, and with that I plan on selling it — maybe to help me pay for my school trips but also to give it away to charities,” said Alexis.
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