GREENUP, KY (WOWK) – One high school student in the tri-state is creating quite the buzz for her unusual hobby which is now being recognized on a national stage.
Sixteen-year-old Emma Stevens has been awarded the Bayer Blue Ribbon Beekeeper award for her efforts in supporting and protecting the honeybee population.
“Honeybees pollinate one-third of the food we eat on a daily basis, so if they leave, our food will really decrease,” said Emma.
What peaked her honeybee interest was through the youth organization, Future Farmers of America (FFA).
“We went to the National FFA Convention and while we were there, we went on a tour of a honeybee farm and we got a jar of honey and looked at their hives and saw all the things they make out of their wax and I thought that was pretty cool.”
She thought the process was the bees knees and wanted to start her own honeybee farm, with help from her dad, Mike.
“We’re really proud of her and it’s just fun to play with the bees.”
Emma says honeybees are usually calm and only show aggression when they feel threatened.
In less than two years, she has accumulated 11 hives buzzing with hundreds of thousands of honeybees.
Emma sells the honey from her hives and makes lip balm from the wax.
Bayer celebrates pollinator enthusiasts and beekeepers, like Emma, who share the benefits of bees with their community.
Her FFA Advisor, Carrie Davis encouraged her to apply and has supported her beekeeping service since day one.
“You look at the whole country and here’s this kid from Eastern Kentucky, tucked away in the hills of Appalachia and I’m like, ‘look at this kid putting Greenup, Kentucky on the map’,” Davis said.
With the Bayer Blue Ribbon Beekeeper award, $2,000 has been awarded to Emma. She plans to use that money to start a beekeeping club at Greenup County High School.