This mom-to-be's maternity shoot is creating quite the buzz on social media
There's nothing that can scare this mom-to-be. Not even 20,000 bees swarming over her baby bump. Meet beekeeper Emily Mueller, 33 from South Akron, who photographed a buzz-worthy maternity shoot with 20,000 bees covering her and her baby bump.
“I know a lot of people are looking at this photo and thinking, 'This lady is crazy'," Emily told InsideEdition.com. “And I understand completely. Many years ago, I was afraid of bees too.” The idea for the shoot struck her when on the morning of the shoot Emily was called in for a job that required her to remove a bee hive from a park. She decided to put the hive to creative use.
"I had been called to a swarm removal that morning so I fed those bees sugar to make sure they would be content and gentle enough to work with," she says. Local photographer and friend Kendrah Damis were called in by Emily and the two decided to go ahead with the shoot.
But wasn't she afraid of allowing so many bees on her baby bump? From her experience as a beekeeper, she consulted three different doctors before proceeding with the photo shoot.
The doctors gave her the green signal as she was immune to adverse reactions from bee stings. But if anything did go wrong, her backup plan was to remove the dress quickly and walk into the garage where she would be separated from the bees.
“I never once thought there would be issues,” Mueller who runs the agricultural service Mueller Honey Bee Removal Initiative with her husband Ryan, 37 explained. “I am stung pretty regularly. I’m very aware of how my body responds when I get stung.”
On being asked how she felt about it, she describes it quite animatedly. "It was like this prickly feeling, very warm, and it smells like lemongrass all at the same time,” she explained. “It’s kind of like when a kitten crawls on you.”
Despite the precautions, she did get bitten quite a number of times during the shoot, including an incident when she sat on a bee and accidentally squished one on her lip. A third sting came when she unknowingly crushed one bee on her arm. But she says that the bees aren't to be blamed. “None of the bees intentionally stung me,” Mueller assured. “It was my own fault. I didn’t realize there was one on my arm.”
On being asked why she chose the unconventional theme for the shoot, the mom-of-three, who has been a beekeeper for five years, said that bees symbolize death and existence in her life.
“Bees came into my life in a time that we had just suffered a miscarriage. It was our second miscarriage and we were trying to get pregnant,” Mueller explained. “I wanted to find an outlet for that emotion. That’s where everything fell into place for me — when honey bees entered into my life.”
Emily's father was a beekeeper, however, after suffering from a stroke, he was no longer able to look after his own bees and passed down his equipment to Emily in the hope that she would continue his legacy. Emily's father would have been proud as Mueller's children have also picked up the nuances of the trade pretty early.
“Honeybees are very gentle and docile and we need to be aware of how important they are,” she said. “If we don’t start taking measures to save them now, we’re going to have long term problems.”
Her bee-belly pictures have stirred a social media nest and it' going viral. Guess Emily did create quite a buzz around her pregnancy and the world has taken note of it.