GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - If you watch Laylah Hunt approach and open up a hive of bees, you wouldn't have a clue the tiny creatures actually do possess the power to deliver a painful sting.
"The bees aren't going to sting you because unless you mess with them they're not going to mess with you," Laylah said, reassuring that she's very careful not to mess with them.
The 9-year-old daughter of Johnnie and Cindy Hunt in Stanley is in her second year of active beekeeping. Just a few weeks ago, she took a test and was granted certification as a beekeeper, making her the youngest to be certified in Gaston County, possibly in the state of North Carolina.
"My mom started taking the class and I kind of liked it," Laylah said, "And so when my dad started taking the class, I took it with him."
Monday afternoon we suited up with Laylah and went to remove a comb from the hive to see just what bees do.
Laylah has the perfect explanation for why they're so critical to our ecosystem.
"If nobody took care of bees then a lot of things would happen like, vanilla bean plants are a good example," she said. "The flowers need to be pollinated and if they're not pollinated then you won't get vanilla beans. And then bye bye vanilla ice cream."
Laylah says her friends at school love when she brings wax in to show them, and honeycomb too. Her parents are beyond proud their daughter is doing something unique and critical for the environment.
"Knowing that she'll just keep going with the bees and we'll have another generation of beekeepers," Johnnie Hunt said.
Laylah encourages other people to become beekeepers too. You can find out more information at Gastonbee.org.