(INSIDE EDITION) — Talk about an un-bee-lievable maternity photo shoot.
An Ohio mom-to-be was photographed with 20,000 honeybees swarming around her baby bump.
“I know a lot of people are looking at this video, thinking, ‘This lady is crazy,’” Emily Mueller, 33, of South Akron, told InsideEdition.com. “And I understand completely. Many years ago, I was afraid of bees too.”
Mueller, a full-time beekeeper, could be seen in footage licensed by SWNS allowing her husband to release a swarm of bees on her pregnant belly as she held the queen bee in her hands.
“It was like this prickly feeling, very warm, and it smells like lemon grass all at the same time,” she explained. “It’s kind of like when a kitten crawls on you.”
Despite being gentle, she said she got stung a couple times during the photo shoot, including when she sat on a bee and accidentally squished one on her lip.
A third sting came when she unknowingly crushed one on her arm.
“None of the bees intentionally stung me,” Mueller assured. “It was my own fault. I didn’t realize there was one on my arm.”
The mom-of-two, who has been a beekeeper for the past five years, explained she wanted to do the photo shoot because honey bees symbolize death and the beginning of new life.
“[Bees] came into my life in a time that we had just suffered a miscarriage. It was our second miscarriage and we were trying to get pregnant,” Mueller explained. “I wanted to find an outlet for that emotion. That’s where everything fell into place for me – when honeybees entered into my life.”
From her experience as a beekeeper, she had already known she had no adverse reactions to bee stings, and she consulted with three different doctors before proceeding with the photo shoot.
If anything went wrong, her back-up plan was to remove the dress quickly, and walk into the garage where she would be separated from the bees.
“I never once thought there would be issues,” Mueller said. “I am stung pretty regularly. I’m very aware of how my body responds when I get stung.”
She said she started getting comfortable around bees when her father became involved in beekeeping. After he had a stroke and was no longer able to care for his own bees, he passed down his equipment to Mueller in hopes that she would continue his legacy.
Now, Mueller explained her kids will inherit the equipment when they grow up.
“Honeybees are very gentle and docile and we need to be aware of how important they are,” she said. “If we don’t start taking measures to save them now, we’re going to have long term [problems].”