If you happen to suffer from apiphobia (or a fear of bees), now might be a good time to look away.
Emily Mueller is a pregnant mama, beekeeper and owner of Mueller Honey Bee and Rescue. And she’s really putting the ‘bee’ in ‘beautiful’ with her unique pregnancy photoshoot.
Now it seems the whole world is in a buzz about it! Come see for yourself.
The mum-of-three with one on the way is a passionate bee lover and nature advocate. So including 20,000 of her fuzzy friends in a pregnancy photo call seemed only natural. Emily came up with the ‘bee belly’ concept when trying to find a unique way to commemorate her fourth and final pregnancy. “It’s going to be our last child,” Emily tells People, “So we knew we had to commemorate the last pregnancy in a special way.”
“And of course, crazy me, I’m like, I have to do a bee belly photoshoot!”
Emily and husband Ryan have another more poignant reason for including bees in their maternity shoot. “Bees represent life and death,” Emily tells Cleveland.com. “We’ve had three miscarriages, so these pictures are dedicated to life and death, to all of the children we’ve had.”
While Emily is no stranger to dealing with large swarms, this was the first time she’d ever ‘worn’ a bee colony on her body. “I was nervous at first, but then it’s so exciting in the moment,” she tells People. “My adrenaline was rushing and I was only focused on the 20,000 bees on me.”
Emily removed the photogenic (and well behaved) colony with permission from a local park. She fed them up on sugar water to ensure they’d be too full to sting. In the photos, Emily is actually holding the queen bee in a small cage. “I pressed my hand to my belly, because bees follow their queen, so they would settle on my womb,” she explains.
“People feel like I’m endangering my child, but it’s due to a lack of education on honey bees — they don’t understand how gentle they really are.”
While Emily did sustain four small stings during the process – and a couple of bees got squished – she says she’s thrilled with the results and photographer, Kendrah Damis‘ willingness to think outside the square (or hive in this occasion). The photos have been shared tens of thousands of time right around the world. Emily hopes they will raise awareness about the importance of bee conservation.
A bee swarm a bit too out-of-the-box for your own pregnancy photo shoot? Perhaps a Beyonce pregnancy photo is more your style.
Images source: Kendra Damis Photography