Angelina Jolie poses with swarm of bees to highlight insects' importance in our environment

WASHINGTON -- Thursday is World Bee Day, and National Geographic teamed up with superstar and activist Angelina Jolie to raise awareness of bee conservation and empower women beekeepers around the world.

In an effort to show the beauty and importance of bees in our environment, Jolie posed while covered in a swarm of bees, wearing a Gabriela Hearst sustainable dress.

National Geographic photographer and beekeeper Dan Winters captured the images using the same pheromone technique employed by Richard Avedon for his iconic 1981 portrait of "The Beekeeper."



In an exclusive interview with National Geographic's Indira Lakshmanan, Jolie said she has seen firsthand the link between environmental destruction, food insecurity and human displacement.

She said beekeeping is vital to sustainable agriculture, environmental health and food security. She also highlighted her involvement in the UNESCO- and Guerlain-forged program, "Women for Bees." By 2025, the program aims to build 2,500 hives and restock 125 million bees, with 50 women trained to establish her own beekeeping operation.

"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."

Learn more about National Geographic's exclusive World Bee Day interview and Instagram takeover with Angelina Jolie at NatGeo.com/Bees.

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