Eddington 6th grader, Elizabeth Downs, has had an interest in bees since she was little. It started as an off-shoot of helping a neighbor in his garden but grew into much, much more.

Bees 21, Rachel Bland Downs
Bees 21, Rachel Bland Downs
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Now in her 6th year of tending to bees, Elizabeth has gone from one hive to nine and is a respected member, "al-bee-it" a young one, of Maine's Bee-keeping community.

Bees 4, Rachel Bland Downs
Bees 4, Rachel Bland Downs
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Her youth and her passion have captivated many, not only in our state but also nationwide. Last year, folks from the national news show, CBS Sunday Morning reached out to do an interview with Elizabeth.

Bees 2, CBS Sunday Morning
Bees 2, CBS Sunday Morning
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The piece aired this past Sunday and instantly inspired folks to reach out.

Bees 7, Rachel Bland Downs
Bees 7, Rachel Bland Downs
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Here's the story, in case you missed it.

I caught up with Elizabeth and her mom, just a couple of hours after the story went public, at an Open Farm Day at Hart Farm in Holden. Elizabeth was there doing outreach, doing what she usually does: talking to people about why she thinks bees are awesome.

Bees 24, Cori Skall
Bees 24, Cori Skall
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I asked her what she thought about the process of being interviewed for a national news story.

"I was kind of surprised that it was for so long because it was for a day and a half. Most interviews are only about 30 minutes long. But I was excited because I'm spreading the word to other people that it's important to have bees. More people need to realize that."

Bees 13, Cori Skall
Bees 13, Cori Skall
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She really didn't seem to be phased by the fact that she had just appeared on a program that's been on the air for over 4 decades and has about 5 million viewers!

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"I didn't really care how big of a deal it was. I just want to spread awareness about bees because they just need that."

Bees 15, Cori Skall
Bees 15, Cori Skall
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As she explained to those who were visiting the farm all about her setup and what life as a beekeeper was like, I asked her what she hoped the viewers of the show took away from her segment.

Bees 16, Cori Skall
Bees 16, Cori Skall
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"I hope that more people are inspired by beekeeping. I'm young. I started at 6. But you don't have to start at a young age. There are many ways to help. You can plant flowers. Don't spray pesticides. You don't have to become a beekeeper and I want to spread awareness about that."

Bees 26, Cori Skall
Bees 26, Cori Skall
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"Bees are starting to die off and so we need to realize how important they are."

Bees 17, Cori Skall
Bees 17, Cori Skall
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Last count, less than 24 hours after the piece aired, Elizabeth's mother, Rachel Downs, said her daughter's Facebook Page "Eeez Beez" (which Elizabeth's parents run) had added almost a thousand new members.

Bees 11, Cori Skall
Bees 11, Cori Skall
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"It's actually been kind of amazing, really. We never expected this to happen, but she's kind of turned into an advocate for bees, so it's been really cool to see how people have kind of welcomed her into the bee community."

Bees 23, Cori Skall
Bees 23, Cori Skall
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Rachel says the family is in full support of her daughter's passion, as long as she keeps enjoying herself.

Bees 10, Cori Skall
Bees 10, Cori Skall
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"I keep checking in with her to say 'Are you still enjoying this? Are you still having fun?' because I think that's the biggest thing. If she stops having fun with it, then it's useless."

Bees 20, Cori Skall
Bees 20, Cori Skall
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"There have been some adults that she's mentored that are new to beekeeping, that she's helped along the way. And she's not afraid to speak up."

Elizabeth sells the honey she collects from her 9 hives, and puts the money she earns to good use.

Bees 21, Cori Skall
Bees 21, Cori Skall
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"With my honey, when I get the money from it, it either goes to my bees or other charities. My most recent donation went to the mural in Downtown Bangor. I helped fundraise money to get him [artist Matt Willey] here."

Bees 5, Rachel Bland Downs
Bees 5, Rachel Bland Downs
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Willey even let Elizabeth help paint a part of his masterpiece, The Good Hive.

Bees 6, Rachel Bland Downs'
Bees 6, Rachel Bland Downs'
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"I did the stem of the flower on the clover."

Bees 14, Cori Skall
Bees 14, Cori Skall
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Elizabeth hopes things like the mural and the television piece help get the word out that people should care about what's happening to bees across the world.

Bees 19, Cori Skall
Bees 19, Cori Skall
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"I believe that if we don't all help, they're going to die...The population of bees is going down. If we don't have bees, we won't have food. And we need food. "

Bees 12, Cori Skall
Bees 12, Cori Skall
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Rachel says her daughter is passionate about her mission to inspire and inform people about bees, she says Elizabeth remains really humble, to the point where she doesn't seem to realize just what an impact she is having on people.

She says she's in awe that her 11-year-old is helping to spread the buzz, far and wide, inspiring folks to take action.

Bees 3, Rachel Bland Downs
Bees 3, Rachel Bland Downs
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"Almost speechless. I'm like 'Elizabeth, you're like saving the world!' and she's like 'No I'm not, Mom.'...We follow her lead...She never really seeks anything out. It's more or less they seek her out."

Bees 9, Cori Skall
Bees 9, Cori Skall
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Elizabeth has spoken to many groups about bees...

"I'm still trying to inform the youth about bees and I'm still trying to get more youth interested in beekeeping because it's very important."

Bees 18, Cori Skall
Bees 18, Cori Skall
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And this busy little bee has got big plans for the future.

"I would really like to be the state Apiarist and I would really like to have this bee school where it teaches other people how to bee keep. You can be young, you can be old."

Bees 8, Cori Skall
Bees 8, Cori Skall
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Look out world! This kid's a mover and a shaker.

Here's hoping her passion and dedication help others to be more conscious of the world around them, particularly the bees.

Keep up the good work, Elizabeth!

While bees are awesome, some of these big bugs are just plain frightening!

Quiz: Do you know your state insect?

Stacker has used a variety of sources to compile a list of the official state insect(s) of each U.S. state, as well as their unique characteristics. Read on to see if you can guess which insect(s) represent your state. 

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