pregnant beekeeper, maternity pictures, honey bees

For New Franklin, Ohio beekeeper Emily Mueller, who is currently waiting to give birth to her fourth and final child, honeybees are a huge part of her life – from caring for at least nine beehives and selling the honey they produce to running a bee rescue service for bee swarms that must be extracted from populated or inconvenient areas. Considering the significance of both bees in her family’s life and this baby being her last one, Mueller decided to hold a maternity shoot to celebrate the event. With the help of her close friend, Kendrah Damis, who is also a photographer, Mueller now has hundreds of photographs commemorating this big life event, and many consist of Mueller wearing a “bee beard” – i.e. bee swarm – on her pregnant belly!

Unique Maternity Photos

As an experienced beekeeper, Mueller wanted these maternity pictures to be special, and Damis, who considers herself “easygoing” while deferring to Mueller’s experience, got onboard with the idea right away. According to Mueller, “It was very planned. It actually took two months to plan everything.” Making the event even more exciting was the likelihood that something like this had never been done before or at least had never been captured on camera before.

How It Happened

To perform this incredible feat, Mueller and her husband gathered a swarm of their bees together on a small branch. With Mrs. Mueller dressed and posed for the photo shoot in a white dress, Mr. Mueller shook the bees off the branch, and they began swarming around their queen, whom Mrs. Mueller was securely holding against her belly. Before too long, the likely hundreds of docile bees were resting on Mrs. Mueller.

Interestingly, Damis had a hard time directing Mueller through poses due to the sheer amount of buzzing that was going on around her. “I was honestly impressed…she actually didn’t hesitate or act afraid,” Mueller said regarding Damis’ handling of the shoot. For those who may have worried about the safety of both Mueller and her baby, she did receive medical clearance, and, due to her honeybees’ docility, neither she nor her baby were ever in danger.

Opening Debate

In addition to raised concerns, Mueller’s photographs, which went viral online, also sparked plenty of interest. “I think this was a great way to get awareness out about bees because we definitely need bees for survival,” Damis said. Echoing her friend’s point, Mueller, who, again, is a bee rescuer, said, “Honeybees need to be saved and rescued and cherished because honeybees are the reason that we will continue to survive.”

Copyright: halfpoint / 123RF Stock Photo

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