As far as maternity shoots are concerned, Beyoncé probably tops the list. But it seems like there’s a new queen bee in town – literally!
Emily Mueller (33) from Ohio, US, celebrated her pregnancy by posing for a photoshoot with 20 000 bees on her belly.
People have been criticising Emily, a full-time beekeeper, for putting her baby in harm’s way – but she says it’s perfectly safe for her and her unborn child to be around the buzzing swarm.
“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,” Emily told People Magazine.
The mom-of-three said her exhilarating experience gave her an adrenaline rush.
“Sure, I was nervous at first, but then it’s so exciting in the moment. My adrenaline was rushing and I was only focused on the 20 000 bees on me,” she says.
Emily, who owns her own apiary with husband, Ryan Mueller, got into bee keeping as a way to cope with the several miscarriages she’s suffered.
“Bees represent the beginning of new life and after my second miscarriage, I needed a new release,” says the Bee Keeper.
The couple were over the moon when they learnt their fourth child was on its way – and decided to celebrate her last pregnancy in a rather unusual fashion.
“Of course, crazy me, I’m like, I have to do a bee belly photoshoot!” Emily says.
Emily came up with the unique idea long with photographer Kendrah Damis. After receiving the blessing from her local parks and recreation department she attained the swarm of 20 000 buzzing bees on the morning of the shoot.
“When I approach bees, I know if they’re aggressive or not based on their behaviour and their response to me,” she says.
She could immediately tell that the bees were a passive bunch and moved the insects from one hive to another to test their stress levels. Emily then gave the bees some sugar water so that they would be full and less likely to sting.
In the bee-autiful pictures she puts her hand on her tummy while the bees rest on her.
Emily admits to being stung four times during the shoot but says it was all her fault – she accidentally squished a few of the insects.
The end result? The Muellers absolutely loved the photographs.
“It was such a spiritual journey.
“They are everything I wanted and just represent our family so accurately,” Emily says.