PHOTO: National Geographic
Cari Jorgensen
January 6, 2016

As a former dancer I can say that I’ve had to wear some strange costumes for performances, including one fashioned to look like a giant Hershey’s Kiss and another that looked like it came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. However, I’ve never had to wear bees.

For Sara Mapelli, wearing bees for a performance is perfectly natural. The Bee Queen wears 12,000 of them to communicate with nature and show others that they don’t need to be afraid of bees. She’s performed the meditative dance while wearing bees four times now. Mapelli attracts the bees by catching the queen bee and putting her in an aerated container around her neck (like a necklace). Her scent attracts the other bees, which land on Mapelli. Though she tries to stay calm during the experience, Mapelli admits that it’s difficult because the bees pinch trying to stay attached to her and their buzzing is quite loud.

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Those watching Mapelli’s bee dance called it serene and powerful.

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