An Ohio mom of three is celebrating her pregnancy by posing for a photoshoot with a four-pound swarm of bees — 20,000 flying insects to be exact — on her belly.
Just take a look at those bees! You wouldn’t know Emily Mueller is pregnant since there are so many of them crawling around her stomach.
20,000 bees cover her belly, arms, neck and face. She even plays with the queen in her hands.
She even likened the experience to “riding a rollercoaster.”
“Not scary, but intense,” she explains. “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.
“It was absolutely amazing to connect with nature in that way and to have the bees directly on my womb was so spiritual.”
Cadyn, 10, Madelynn, 3, and Westyn, 1, are the couple’s three children. Emily, 33, and Ryan, 37, were thrilled to find they were expecting a fourth child.
According to Emily, who is due in November, “it’s going to be our final child.” Therefore, we were aware that we had to mark the final pregnancy in some way special.
“And of course, crazy me, I’m like, I have to do a bee belly photoshoot!”
She strategically planned the shoot to have all the insects safely and calmly settle on her baby bump for the perfect photo.
“When I approach bees, I know if they are aggressive or not based on their behavior and their response to me,” she says. “I removed the [hive] while sitting on a park seat with parks and recreation around.”
Emily could immediately tell the swarm was gentle. She then took it home and “manipulated it” by removing the swarm from one hive to another, testing stress levels.
She fed the bees sugar water so they would be full and unable to bend enough to sting before leaving the hive to follow the queen bee.
Bees immediately flocked to Emily’s body and nestled there, close to their heiress in the beekeeper’s palm, once the hive was shaken.
‘Having them all on me was this clinging sensation. They all stick to you and they are very warm, so it’s almost like when a kitten is walking on you,’ she describes.
“I wore a dress that was long and covered my stomach and legs so the bees would be on the outside of my body as a cautionary measure, but I knew it was safe,” she says on her precautions.
Emily alleges that she was stung four times during the procedure, but she blames all of them on herself for accidently squashing a few bees.
In case the swarm turned hostile, she even planned a fallback strategy.
“I was going to rip my dress off and run into the garage,” says Emily. “Then I would turn the light on and bees fly to light when it’s there.”
“It was such a spiritual journey,” says Emily. “They are everything I wanted and just represent our family so accurately.”
“We’re just so happy,” says Emily. “I think the baby is a girl, but we are waiting to find out.”