Oregon-based artist and energy therapist Sara Mapelli has brought an entire new meaning to the term “queen bee.”
Mapelli choreographed a dance performance in which she wears a squirming coat made up of 15,000 bees on her naked torso. According to Mapelli, the bee dance is a healing, meditative technique she designed to spiritually reinvigorate her audience, help them conquer their fear of bees, and further build awareness of the importance of bees and nature as a whole.
To attract the bees, Mapelli rubs a pheromone on her chest, produced by the queen bee to control the hive. A beekeeper then lifts a frame containing a beehive to allow thousands of bees to swarm her body. Said Mapelli to National Geographic, “I’m like a tree with a huge tornado above me that gets smaller and smaller as the bees land. They are so loud; it’s an engulfing, beautiful sound… I’m listening and feeling them as I dance. We work together; it’s a complete duet, totally unscripted.”
Although Mapelli has been stung countless times, she finds it medicinal and therapeutic. She believes the entire experience is crucial in raising awareness for bees’ role in our ecosystem, especially since bees are critically vital to human survival.
Naturally, Mapelli is constantly faced with criticism and bemusement, but this doesn’t faze her. In her own words: “Sure, some say ‘I would never do that!’ So I say, that’s okay, you don’t have to! Of course, it’s also educational: 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.”
We doubt anyone would try this at home, so watch an expert at work above.