Bees are incredibly smart and fascinating creatures, even if many of us would rather they took care of their work as champion pollinators somewhere far away from us. The reality of bee stings has many of us doing awkward dances as we flee them at backyard barbecues. Angelina Jolie, who has become famous for walking her own path, saw an opportunity with the bees and decided to take a different approach by covering herself in bees and posing for National Geographic. Why did she do this? Well, actually, she had a few reasons. And that’s what appealed to her most.
UNESCO and Guerlain launched the Women for Bees program. Currently, bees are in trouble due to the climate crisis and pesticides, among other factors. While some people are uncomfortable around honeybees, they are needed for a balanced and healthy planet. A future without bees wouldn’t be great. The Women for Bees program looks to do its part to work on that situation, while also creating jobs for women bee keepers around the world. The initiative is looking to build 2,500 bee hives with 125 million bees by 2025, while at the same time creating jobs for at least 50 women in their own operations. Angelina Jolie likes the marriage of global causes in this effort and decided to help draw attention to the situation. Check out the National Geographic photo where she poses with wide eyes and bees covering her.
Is Angelina Jolie really posing with bees here, or is there photoshop involved? This is a totally valid question, and it turns out that yes, she is covered with real live bees. Dan Winters was her National Geographic photographer on the project and an amateur bee keeper himself. He said that everyone else in the room with Jolie wore protective suits. She stood still for 18 minutes while they photographed her in a dark and quiet room. Everyone needed to stay quiet and calm to keep from upsetting the bees while they were on her. Fortunately, she wasn’t stung once. Dan Winters was inspired to do the photograph after seeing the 1981 photo of Ronald Fischer covered in bees.
While the photograph is one way for Angelina Jolie to do her part to draw attention to the initiative, she also did interviews with National Geographic talking about the importance of the situation. She brought up that while many of us are overwhelmed with the problems in the world, saving the world’s bee population is one thing that everyone can help with and that we can actually overcome. You can see her discuss this in the brief clip below.
Angelina Jolie’s humanitarian work has been a major part of her life over the past couple of decades. When she isn’t working in Hollywood, she’s been drawing attention to what happens to women in war zones and environmental issues. She’s said that her life perspective shifted in 2000 while filming Tomb Raider in Cambodia. While many thought that this work would draw her away from Hollywood blockbusters, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Later this year she’ll be appearing in Marvel’s Eternals. She is apparently quite comfortable remaining busy as a bee.