Angelina Jolie can now add bee model and activist onto her long resume.
The “Those Who Wish Me Dead” actress and humanitarian was recently a part of a new photo series to point out the critical danger bees are in and the dire need to protect the bee population.
The photographer behind the project was Dan Winters from National Geographic. Winters is an amateur beekeeper himself. The photos were released yesterday in honor of World Bee Day.
Bees are a suffering species. As bee numbers dwindle, humans will see a major threat to some of our leading food sources. Three out of every four leading food crops depend on our planet’s noble pollinators. This includes key food groups like fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Also, bees pollinate alfalfa, which is a food source for cows and is also used for clothing and medicines.
Bees are out doing $200 billion worth of free pollinating work in order to keep our crops well off. What do they get in exchange? There have been massive bee die-offs in the last 10 years. This is due to things like parasites, climate change, pesticides, and habitat loss. There are half a dozen bee species from the U.S. on the Endangered Species List.
Angelina Jolie Bee Queen
Meanwhile, people like Angelina Jolie are helping to spread awareness about bees, and, ultimately, the need for more environmental protections.
“With so much we are worried about around the world and so many people feeling overwhelmed with bad news, this is one [problem] that we can manage,” Angelina Jolie said to National Geographic. The publication even dubbed her the “godmother” for Women for Bees. This is a program by UNESCO to support female beekeepers around the world.
In her photograph, the actress is covered in bees. While most people would react in absolute terror, Jolie took it as an opportunity to feel close to the insect. She even joked about one bee that snuck under her skirt and stressed her out during the shoot.
“There’s certainly a hum. You have to be really still and in your body, in the moment, which is not easy for me. 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 intention is we share this planet. We are affected by each other. This is what it should feel like and it really did, and I felt very honored and very lucky to have the experience,” Jolie said.
Jolie Talks Conservation Efforts
Jolie also added that we need to be more conscious of different chemicals and deforestation that have taken a toll on bee populations. She made it clear that this is a problem that is solvable and absolutely needs a very near solution.
Besides being a voice for the bees, Angelina Jolie also started a foundation in Cambodia. She witnessed awful levels of deforestation and logging, which led her to start a beekeeping program there. Women for Bees is going to support 50 different women beekeepers in 25 reserves around the world. The goal is to have nearly 3,000 native hives by 2025.
In addition to helping bees, the program helps highlight different beekeeping practices and cultures. Angelina Jolie has been particularly active in having women all around the world join in on keeping bees around. Women are being given the opportunity to learn a brand new skill that can be passed on in the future.
In June Jolie will take part in the first 10 Women for Bees training program at the French Observatory of Apidology in Provence. She will train to be an official beekeeper.