Angelina Jolie is covered in bees in a breathtaking new portrait for National Geographic to help raise awareness about bee conservation and a new program to empower women beekeepers around the world.
In an interview with National Geographic’s Indira Lakshmana for World Bee Day on May 20, the Hollywood star and humanitarian highlights how beekeeping is vital to sustainable agriculture, environmental health and food security.
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She also discusses her involvement with UNESCO and luxury brand Guerlain who have started a “Women for Bees” programme which aims to train 50 women to establish their own sustainable beekeeping operations plus build 2,500 hives and restock 125 million bees by 2025.
“With so much we are worried about around the world and so many people feeling overwhelmed with bad news and the reality of what is collapsing and what is happening, this is one [issue] that we can manage,” Angelina tells Nat Geo.
“We can certainly all step in and do our part, and we can do much better and anybody can.”
Now back to that breathtaking photo. If you’re anything like me, you’re wondering how on earth did she do that, right about now.
Well, it took a lot of preparation…and patience.
The striking pic was captured by National Geographic photographer Dan Winters who was inspired by the iconic 1981 Richard Avedon portrait of “The Beekeeper” – and in a post shared on Nat Geo’s Instagram, Mr Winters explains that all those bees were in fact Angelina’s idea!
“Angelina wanted to do a portrait covered in bees. I’m a beekeeper and when I was given the assignment to work with Angelina, my main concern was safety,” he writes.
“Everyone on set, except Angelina, had to be in a protective suit. It had to be quiet and fairly dark to keep the bees calm. I applied the pheromone in the places on her body where I wanted bees to congregate. The bees are attracted to the pheromone but it also encourages them not to swarm. We also placed a large number of bees on a board that rested in front of her waist. Angelina stood perfectly still, covered in bees for 18 minutes without a sting.”
You can read National Gerographic’s exclusive World Bee Day interview with Angelina Jolie at NatGeo.com/Bees.
And here’s a little behind the scenes from the bee-autiful photo shoot (you know I had to):
(Feature Image Credit: Dan Winters/National Geographic)