It’s not unusual for people to incorporate the things that are important to them into their maternity photos. Sometimes the pictures have a baseball theme, or include the mother and gestational surrogate. So when the mom-to-be is besotted by bees, her maternity shoot will include honey bees. Lots and lots of honey bees.
Emily Mueller, a mother of three from Akron, Ohio, is known locally as “the bee whisperer.” She and her husband Ryan run Mueller Honey Bee Rescue, a company that specializes in removing bee colonies from homes and business without harming the bees or their hives. Mueller is also pregnant with the couple’s fourth child, and knew she wanted to do something special for her last maternity session.
Mueller told IndeOnline.com that the connection she has with bees is spiritual. “Bees represent life and death,” she said to Cleveland.com. “We’ve had three miscarriages, so these pictures are dedicated to life and death, to all of the children we’ve had.”
The expectant mother recruited her friend, photographer Kendrah Damis, to help her pull off her idea: a belly covered with bees. Credit to Damis for not flinching at the suggestion. “I wouldn’t have done this for just anyone but I know Emily is a talented beekeeper,” she said.
On the day of the shoot, Emily and her husband rescued the four-pound swarm of bees that was used in the photo. Mueller held the Queen Bee in a small cage on her lap, and over 20,000 bees to swarm her stomach as a resting place.
“It’s no different than a tree or a fence,” Mueller noted. “They were looking for the pheromones of the queen.”
This next photo is definitely unique, but seriously, I would be too scared.