Covered in BEES

"Ronald Fischer, Beekeeper" by Richard Avedon

In 1981 farmer and beekeeper Ron Fischer answered an ad in a national beekeeping journal seeking a man or woman willing to be photographed with bees by a “world-famous photographer.” That photographer turned out to be Richard Avedon. Here’s a nifty article about how he became the “Bee Man of Orion“. The photo is a favorite of mine, not just for its surreal nature, but because it portrays somebody nonchalantly with a swarm of insects,

photo from "Working with Avedon" by Laura Wilson

To get the bees to land on Fischer, a university entomologist he was acquainted with patted queen bee pheromone (an attractant for other bees) onto several spots on Fischer’s head and chest.

Then, about 200 feet away, packages of bees were opened on the ground. The bees detected the pheromone and began to move.

Fischer still remembers watching the swarm of bees heading his way.

“They started forming a cloud over my head,” he says.


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