May 20 was World Bee Day. And to celebrate the occasion and raise awareness of the importance of bees, Angelina Jolie did a National Geographic photoshoot with a bunch of bees crawling all over her for 18 minutes. She has also been named the "Godmother of Bees" by UNESO (which is apparently a 5-year term):
Jolie was recently named "godmother" for Women for Bees, a five-year program launched by UNESCO, the UN's educational, scientific, and cultural arm, and Guerlain, the French cosmetics house. Guerlain says it has contributed $2 million to train and support 50 women beekeeper-entrepreneurs in 25 UNESCO-designated biosphere reserves around the world.
The women are expected to build 2,500 native beehives by 2025, safeguarding 125 million bees, according to Guerlain. Women from Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, France, Russia, Rwanda, and Slovenia will be trained this year, with others from Peru, Indonesia, and more joining in 2022.
The photoshoot was done by Dan Winters — an amateur beekeeper himself — and was inspired by a 1981 portrait from 1981 of a bald and shirtless California beekeeper, also covered in bees. Winters even tracked down and used the same pheromones as were used in that 1981 shoot in order to attract the bees. Jolie goes into a little more detail on her preparation process for the photoshoot in the accompanying National Geographic interview, but needless to say, it sounds intense.
Also bees are cool, and you can learn more about bee conservation, too, which is good.
Angelina Jolie embraces bees—and female beekeepers as environmental guardians [Indira A.R. Lakshmanan / National Geographic]