On National Bee Day, May 20, actress and activist Angelina Jolie teamed up with National Geographic to raise awareness regarding bee preservation and the empowerment of female beekeepers worldwide.
In an effort to spark a greater conversation regarding the importance of bees within our environment and world, Jolie posed for 18 minutes in a sustainable Gabriela Hearst gown as a swarm of bees engulfed her. All the while, National Geographic photographer and beekeeper Dan Winters documented the eccentric moment as it happened in real time.
The project was by no means National Geographic’s first go-around working with bees in this sort of capacity—in fact, the images were meant to mirror that of Richard Avedon’s work in his 1981 portrait, “The Beekeeper.”
The revamped, 2021 visual of Jolie aimed to showcase the delicate nature of the creature, and their vitality to the preservation of our world’s ecosystem.
And in an exclusive interview with National Geographic’s Indira Lakshmanan, Jolie discussed how she has seen the ties between environmental destruction, food insecurity and human displacement, first-hand.
“With so much we are worried about around the world and so many people feeling overwhelmed with bad news and the reality of what is collapsing and what is happening, this is one [issue] that we can manage,” Jolie said. “We can certainly all step in and do our part, and we can do much better and anybody can.”
The actress’s philanthropic work has been a prominent aspect of her career over the last decade. As a special envoy for the UN Refugee Agency since 2012, Angelina Jolie has tapped into her extensive humanitarian experience to help support the new UNESCO organization “Women for Bees.” This particular five-year initiative will work to train more than 50 women beekeeper-entrepreneurs in 25 different UNESCO-designated biosphere reserves.
As the program’s dubbed “Godmother,” Jolie will have the opportunity to meet the participants and support their progress as they work to maintain 2,500 native beehives by 2025.
For more information on Angelina Jolie and her work to empower female beekeepers, visit www.natgeo.com/bees.