TRYON, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — In Tryon, North Carolina, the backdrop in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains could be described as the bee’s knees.
Carla Robertson is a young apiculturist with an old soul. The seasoned beekeeper is 17.
“You get in there with them, and it’s calm; you hear the buzzing,” she said.
“You’re going to need a hat so you don’t get your face stung!” her little sister reminded us.
We thought that seemed like a good time to suit up to learn more about Carla’s passion.
“Trying to see if the Queen is up here,” she explained, introducing us to her colonies. “Here’s your queen bee right here.”
She has no qualms about being a bee geek, also known as a “beek.”
“And the way that God created them, there’s just so much to constantly learn,” she said. “When you do bees, it’s the satisfaction of like, ‘Oh, I raised this!’”
Robertson represents the next generation of beekeepers.
Her goal now is to generate buzz about the importance of pollinators. She’s an ambassador via social media as Henderson County Beekeepers Association’s summer intern.
“I’m grafting queens; it’s one of my big projects this summer,” she said in one post.
Carla also shared videos as a “Honey Show reporter” at this month’s N.C. beekeepers conference event held in Henderson County.
Carla is also social media savvy, posting clips for Hooper’s Creek Bee Company in Arden. The business is owned and operated by her family.
“Kids are seeing that ‘Oh, it’s not that scary. It’s not that bad; someone else is doing it that’s my age,’” said Robertson.
Carla could have used that message several years ago when 27 bee stings (but who’s counting?) nearly drove her away.
“By the second year, I was done with it,” she said.
Carla’s dad motivated her to continue.
“If you just give up when things get difficult, then really you’re not going to achieve anything,” said Jon Robertson.
“I didn’t really have the passion for it before it really got ignited, and I said, ‘This is what I want to do!’” Carla explained.
Once the lightbulb went off, she made a beeline to teach Gen Z why bees are so vital to the planet.