This woman’s ‘honey-bee belly’ pregnancy photos are quite incredible
For Emily, honey bees are a huge part of her life.
For most people, a pregnancy photo session would not involve honey bees – but then most people don’t have the level of knowledge about the creatures that Emily Mueller does.
The 33-year-old from New Franklin, Ohio, works in honey bee rescue and consulting, as well as being a Summit County Apiary Inspector.
Emily explained how bees became a huge part of her life, and more than just her career.
“When we began beekeeping, we had recently had a second miscarriage and I was looking for a new hobby to put my mind at ease,” said Emily. “Beekeeping has become the way I unwind, relax and de-stress myself.
“The connection I have with bees is a spiritual one and they have taught me so much about myself and allowed me to become a much stronger woman.”
Emily is currently pregnant, with the baby due in November. And for her pregnancy photos, she was keen to demonstrate her connection with beekeeping, as well as to show how docile honey bees really are.
“We knew we wanted four children by choice and again, we suffered another miscarriage prior to this pregnancy,” she said.
“I wanted a way to integrate beekeeping and their meaning, my spiritual connection with them and all of the children I have carried in my womb.
“I decided that having a bee belly would be a way to represent all these things at once as well as showing the world how docile these creatures truly are.”
According to the photographer, Kendrah Damis, by holding the queen bee in a container in her hand, Emily was able to attract the bee swarm to her, while apparently honey bees are engorged on honey when they swarm, so were gentle.
It’s quite an incredible sight, and Emily was keen to allay any fears over her or her baby’s safety.
“Risks are very limited on doing bee bearding and it is a common practice among experienced beekeepers,” she said.
“Knowing my previous responses to getting stung and being stung on a regular basis due to my profession, I was confident in the fact that this was a very limited risk for me to complete,” she continued.
“It takes 10 stings for every one pound of body weight to have a severe reaction for anyone who does not respond poorly to stings, so we had a scheduled emergency backup plan that would allow me to calmly walk away from the bees before being stung anywhere close to this amount of times.
“We cleared this with three different doctors and were completely satisfied that this was not a risk for the baby or myself.”
Emily says she was stung four times while the photos were being taken, but only because she accidentally squashed some of her bees – and while she was comfortable with the insects, what did her photographer, and long-time friend Kendrah, make of it?
“I am a pretty calm person so not too much gets me overly reactive,” said Kendrah, of Kendrah Damis Photography. “I wasn’t scared, just a little uneasy having them buzzing around me and landing on me.
“Emily is over the moon about the photos and the exposure that will hopefully help people understand more about honey bees and their importance to our environment.”
It’s certainly an un-bee-lievable set of photographs, that’s for sure.