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See Angelina Jolie's Strangest Photoshoot Yet

The actor was photographed covered in real, live bees for a very good cause.

The concept of being covered in bees is a nightmare scenario for a lot of people, but not this actor. In order to bring awareness to World Bee Day and the importance of the insect to our planet, Angelina Jolie posed for photoshoot with bees crawling all over her face and body. The star was also interviewed by National Geographic about her passion for conservation, but these visuals are difficult to compete with. Jolie even had to wear a special pheromone during the shoot and follow other rules and precautions to be safe from her co-stars.

How exactly did the magazine pull off this shoot without putting Jolie in danger? Why did Jolie agree to it in the first place? Read on to hear more about those topics, as well as Jolie's role in the United Nations' Women for Bees program.

Posing with bees takes a lot more than just standing there.

Angelina Jolie wearing a white dress while posing with bees
National Geographic/YouTube

In her interview with National Geographic, Jolie explained how she prepared to pose with so many bees. "It was so funny to be in hair and makeup and wiping yourself with pheromone," she said. "We couldn't shower for three days before. Because they told me, 'If you have all these different scents, shampoos and perfumes and things, the bee doesn't know what you are.' [They] don't want [bees] to confuse you for a flower, I suppose."

Jolie said that in addition to that, "You put a few things up your nose and in your ears so you don't give them as many holes to climb in."

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She was worried about one bee in particular. 

Angelina Jolie being photographed while covered in bees
National Geographic/YouTube

Jolie wore a long, flowing, strapless white dress for the photos. A video of the shoot shows that she stayed calm even when one bee was crawling near her eye.

"Angelina stood perfectly still, covered in bees for 18 minutes without a sting," photographer Dan Winters said.

But, there was one particular bee that was bothering Jolie, even if she didn't show it. "I did have one that got under my dress the entire time," she said. "It was like one of those old comedies. I kept feeling it on my knee, on my leg, and then I thought, 'Oh, this is the worst place to get stung. It's getting really close.' It stayed there the entire time we were doing the shoot. And then when I got all the other bees off, I lifted the skirt and he went away."

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Jolie has been named the "godmother" of Women for Bees.

Angelina Jolie during a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in her role as Special envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Ververidis Vasilis /

Jolie has long worked with the UN. She was a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency from 2001 to 2012, and was then named a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Now, she is working with UNESCO and French cosmetic company Guerlain's Women for Bees initiative and was named the program's "godmother." Through the program, women from around the world will receive training to become beekeeper-entrepreneurs. Jolie will also take part in the training.

She encourages others to do their part for the planet.

Angelina Jolie and five of her kids at the "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" premiere in 2019
DFree /

"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, this is one that we can manage," Jolie said. "We can certainly all step in and do our part."

As the National Geographic story explains, pollinators like bees are responsible for much of the food humans consume, whether that means by pollinating fruits and vegetables, the plants that livestock eat, or plants used for medicines and textiles. And there are things any regular person can do that will help save bees, including planting flowers that will attract them.

"I don't think a lot of people know what damage they're doing," Jolie continued. "A lot of people are just trying to get through their day. They want to do good. They don't want to be destructive … So I think part of this is wanting to help it be simple for everybody, because I need that. I have six kids and a lot happening, and I don't know how to be the 'perfect' anything. And so if we can help each other to say, 'This is a way forward, simple, and this is something you can do with your kids.'"

RELATED: Angelina Jolie Says Her Kids Won't Let Her Do This One Thing.

Jolie revealed what type of bee she thinks she would be.

Angelina Jolie being photographed while covered in bees
National Geographic/YouTube

"There are two types of bees," Jolie said. "This is to all you women: wild and solitary or domestic and honeybee. Take a choice. The domestic honeybee is the one that makes the honey and then there's this other bee, that's the wild solitary bee that lives a very different life and does not make honey but pollinates."

The 45-year-old was then asked which type she most relates to.

"I feel like lately I've been a lot of domestic honeybee, but in my heart, I'm wild solitary," she said, laughing.

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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