Last Updated 04 | 05 | 2014 at 20:30

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Topless Woman Covers Herself with 12,000 Bees

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Performance artist Sara Mapelli uses pheromones to attract 12,000 to her naked body in the hope of getting people to think more about the natural world.

The self-proclaimed 'Bee Queen' from Oregon, 44, calmly wanders around outdoors, with thousands of hairy-bodied insects covering her torso up to her neck, in turn creating a 'natural blouse'. The beekeeper, who also works as an artist and healer, started investigating how her hive would react to her body back in 2001.

While they buzz around her she likes to perform a slow 'spiritual' dance, which she says is a form of meditation. On her website, she writes: 'I think of this dance as a duet among many. These 12,000 bees push with their powerful wings from each side of my body, I resist and then I let go and flow and move with them.”

Ms Mapelli has been stung multiple times while dancing. She also says that applying the first layer of bees of bees is extremely painful as they cling on to her armpits, hair, breasts and chin. But she says the pain is worthwhile and hopes that her unusual line of work will help the bees' plight.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that the total number of managed honey bee colonies has decreased from 5million in the 1940s to only 2.5million today. From the winter of 2006 to 2011 annual losses averaged about 33 percent each year with causes including viruses, parasites and toxic pesticides used in farming.

Climate change is also cited as a possible reason for colony decline. If numbers continue to drop, the Department of Agriculture notes that the cost of honey will inevitably increase.

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