Angelina Jolie was all abuzz, as she highlighted the need for bee conservation and support for female beekeepers.
To that end, she has posed covered in live bees for National Geographic, to produce a photograph and accompanying “living portrait”.
Shot by photographer and amateur beekeeper Dan Winters, Academy Award winner Jolie had to remain still for 18 minutes as the insects crawled all over her.
“It just felt lovely to be connected to these beautiful creatures. There’s certainly a hum. You have to be really still and in your body — in the moment — which is not easy for me,” Jolie told National Geographic.
“You put a few things up your nose and in your ears so you don’t give them as many holes to climb in.”
Prior to the photoshoot, Jolie was wiped with pheremones to calm the bees.
“We couldn’t shower for three days before. Because they told me, ‘If you have all these different scents, shampoos and perfumes and things, the bee doesn’t know what you are’,” she said.
“[They] don’t want [bees] to confuse you for a flower, I suppose.”
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Winters said while shooting the pictures everyone else on set was in a protective suit, but Jolie emerged without a sting — even after one bee managed to get underneath her dress.
“The set had to be quiet and fairly dark to keep the bees calm… Angelina stood perfectly still, covered in bees for 18 minutes without a sting,” he said.
May 20 was World Bee Day, and Jolie said she was compelled to speak out about bee conservation and their importance to world food supply.
Stung into action, she made the decision to pose with them.
“I think part of the thought behind it was, this creature is seen as dangerous sometimes or stinging. So how do we just be with it?” she said.
“The intention is we share this planet. We are affected by each other. This is what it should feel like and it really did, and I felt very honoured and very lucky to have the experience.”