A pregnant mum has created a buzz after posing for maternity photos – with 20,000 BEES swarming around her baby bump.
Brave Emily Mueller got the honeybees to settle on her stomach by holding the queen bee in a cage in her hand.
The 33-year-old is a full-time beekeeper who keeps 24 hives containing around 1.2 millions bees and says she’s been stung a whopping 350 times this year alone.
But she said she wasn’t scared about having the photos taken because she feels at ease with the insects.
On the morning of the shoot, Emily was called to a job which required her to remove a hive from a park and she used those bees for the pictures.
Despite being stung three times, she says the end result was worth it.
The mum, of Ohio, US, said: “A lot of people think I’m insane but I’m so comfortable with bees so it was never something I had anxiety about.
“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 precautionary measure, but I knew it was safe.
“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.
“Then I put the queen bee in a cage and tied it to a branch in a tree in the garden. She is larger and bigger so it was easy to identify her.
“Then I shook the bees from the hive and they all flew straight to her.
“We cut the branch and my husband walked it over to where I was sitting for the pictures.
“He shook them onto the ground and I held the queen in my hand and they all came over.
“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.
“I felt calm throughout, though I did get stung three times.
“I accidentally squished one with my butt and another under my arm pit, and the third time I was pretending to eat a bee jokingly and I squashed one against my lip.
“The photos were worth it. I love them.”
Former communications worker Emily runs Mueller Honey Bee Removal with husband Ryan, 37.
The couple share their passion with their children – Cadyn, 10, Madelynn, three and Westyn, one.
Emily said: “A few years ago my father gave me a hive. He had been doing it for a few years but they kept dying.
“He was tired of spending money on them so he gave me the hive and I got started.
“I didn’t know anything about bees but I had had my second child and I didn’t like working any more, so I decided to start selling honey.
“It grew and grew and grew and now my husband and I have 24 hives, each with around 50,000 bees in.”
She added: “Bees have been a huge part of our lives for the past few years so I wanted to incorporate them into something important to me – like my maternity photos.
“I have three children and I had three miscarriages so it was in tribute to them all.
“Bees represent life and death and they are very spiritual creatures.
“I just want to raise awareness about how gentle they are.”