Angelina Jolie seems to be raiding beehives instead of tombs lately.
The actress posed for National Geographic to raise awareness for World Bee Day on May 20 — and, yes, she is covered in bees for the photo. Jolie wore a white, sustainable dress designed by Gabriela Hearst while a bundle of bees swarmed her body.
Some people may be a little freaked out at the idea, but not Jolie.
“It just felt lovely to be connected to these beautiful creatures,” she told National Geographic in an interview published Wednesday. “I think part of the thought behind it was, this creature is seen as dangerous sometimes or stinging. So how do we just be with it?”
The U.N. established World Bee Day to raise awareness about the extinction threat bees face around the world. Extinction rates for bees are 100 to 1,000 times higher than normal rates, according to the U.N. website.
Photographer Dan Winters, who captured the moment, was inspired by Richard Avedon’s portrait “The Beekeeper.” He used the same pheromone scent Avedon used to capture his 1981 photo with Jolie.
“It was so funny to be in hair and makeup and wiping yourself with pheromone. We couldn’t shower for three days before,” Jolie said.
The aromas of soaps and shampoos may be confusing to bees, the 45-year-old actress was told. She also said she had to plug her nose and ears so the insects wouldn’t fly in.
“I did have one that got under my dress the entire time. It was like one of those old comedies. I kept feeling it on my knee, on my leg, and then I thought, ‘Oh, this is the worst place to get stung’,” she said.
The “Those Who Wish Me Dead” star was recently named Godmother of the “Women for Bees” program, designed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and French cosmetics company Guerlain, to enroll women into a 30-day beekeeping course to help conserve biodiversity. Jolie will be one of the first 10 women to be trained in beekeeping. She’s already getting started at home.
“I have a lot of wildflowers and my bees are very, very happy. … We’re trying to figure out where we would put the hives. I think I have to do them on the roof,” she said.