3 min read

Woman Wears Shirt Made Of Live Bees

What may be your worst nightmare is this woman's happy place.

Sara Mapelli, an artist and energy therapist, is also known as the Bee Queen. Based in Oregon, Mapelli performs a special dance while topless, only wearing a "blouse" made from thousands of buzzing honeybees.

"As I got to know bees, I realized their world is all about community," Mapelli told National Geographic. "Each bee has a job, and they take turns doing different things to help the whole. That interconnectedness, the idea that if you take a piece out the group is incomplete and doesn't function as well - that's part of the message I want to share."

Mapelli uses her bee dance as part of her alternative medicine practice, and told National Geographic that the performance promotes spiritual healing, reconnecting with nature and education. She's had clients start out afraid of bees or feeling disconnected from nature, but go home less afraid and spiritually invigorated after watching her perform, she said.

With assistance from Michael Burgett, an entomologist from Oregon State University, Mapelli literally becomes a bee queen by dousing herself with a potent bee pheromone. While Mapelli does get stung, and feels itchy, hot and weighed down while wearing her bee blouse, she said she doesn't mind it, and finds the stinging to be medicinal.

"Of course, it's also educational," she added. "It gives me a chance to talk to people about bees, how important they are to us and to nature, what people can do to help preserve them."

The decline of honeybees in the United States is a serious concern due to hive loss from pesticides, viruses and other threats. For information on what you can do to help, check out The Honeybee Conservancy.

h/t National Geographic