ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- While most children fear bees, Stone-Robinson fifth grader Wes Mattson has a sweet spot for them. 

"Most kids would run when they see them on the playground. I'm like picking them and messing around with them and just helping them out," he said.

Mattson even has a bee temporary tattoo on his arm.  

"I just thought they were fascinating creatures, and I just wanted to learn more about them," he said.

He began studying the bees on his own. 

"I started to do some research on the computer and like researching National Geographic Kids and all kinds of websites," said Mattson.

"He started just reading books about it and being very interested in it, and I think for that Christmas he was asking for honey hives or bee hives," said Wes' mother, Paige Mattson.

His wish eventually came true. He has four beehives. 

"I thought it would be cool to have a couple of hives," said Mattson.

His passion and knowledge of bees caught the eye of Kelly Oehler, the Talent Development Resource teacher at Stone-Robinson Elementary School, during a virtual book club session. 

"I was completely blown away," she said.

She was so impressed by his knowledge and passion for bees that she nominated him for an award and won. 

"I looked at the Virginia Association for the Gifted and I saw that they had an outstanding student award and I thought that he absolutely fit the bill," said Oehler.

"Most kids would be really excited about it. I didn't really think it was that exciting, but I was pretty excited that I won," said Mattson. 

Instead, he does it for something he believes is sweeter than honey: the environment. 

"I'm passionate about bees because as I've learned in my research we need bees for this planet," said Mattson.

"I want this planet to be a nice clean planet," said Mattson.