Anna-Marie Campisi and Mursel caught the love bug after meeting on a beekeeping Facebook group. The only problem? They live roughly 6,000 miles apart.
The 38-year-olds are engaged to be married and have 90 days to decide whether they should follow through. Mursel, who lives in Turkey, came to the U.S. on a K-1 visa after proposing to Campisi, of Bellevue.
The couple is on TLC’s seventh season of “90 Day Fiancé.” The reality TV show follows international relationships as the foreign fiancés visit America to hopefully get married before their visa expires. It premiered in 2014.
Ever since Mursel sent Campisi a friend request in December 2017 the two chat every day — despite speaking different languages — and send photos of their bees.
The language barrier has been difficult, Campisi said on the show, but they’ve worked around it by learning basic words and using a phone translator for deeper conversations.
Before they ever met in person, Mursel proposed on a video call. Campisi traveled to Turkey to meet her new fiancé, and shortly after they applied for a K-1 visa and “90 Day Fiancé.” Friends and family thought they were crazy, she said in the show, but they didn’t let it stop them.
Campisi said she thought their love story was “cute” and “different” compared to past couples on the show. She emailed TLC casting, telling them her story and sending photos.
They completed a Skype video interview and eventually learned they’d been chosen.
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Filming took place last summer, but Campisi isn’t allowed to say whether she and Mursel work out until the season fully airs.
Being on the show was fun, she said, but a lot more work than Campisi expected. Sharing aspects of their relationship they’d normally keep private proved difficult, she said.
Campisi said her three boys — Joey, 15; Gino, 14; and Leo, 6 — loved being on the show.
“Gino really thought it was neat; He loves theater,” Campisi said in an email. “Joey really enjoyed talking with the film crew; (he) learned a lot. Leo is goofy and loves attention, so he just went with the flow.”
The season’s first episode aired Nov. 3. It documents Mursel’s trip to the U.S. to reunite with his fiancée. Campisi picks him up from the Chicago airport and takes him to her Bellevue home.
The show will follow the couple as they try to overcome obstacles, such as cultural differences, that stand in the way of their wedding.
Campisi moved to Bellevue when she was 9 when her father was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base.
“I love Bellevue,” Campisi said in an email. “It has always felt like home to me.”
Her interest in bees stemmed from her children’s grandfather, who has a large beekeeping business in Mexico. She’d help with extracting the 13 tons of honey each year.
“I was always fascinated by it and of course fell in love with fresh honey,” Campisi said in the email. “So, about five years ago I decided to purchase my first four colonies.”
From her love of bees, honey and nature, Campisi founded Beauty and the Bees Honey three years ago. She maintains her 15 hives in Bellevue and Murray, Nebraska. She started selling local honey and now offers lotion, soaps, candy, jewelry and more.
TLC’s “90 Day Fiancé” airs Sundays at 7 p.m.
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Clarification: An earlier version of this story contained incomplete information about the number of hives that Anna-Marie Campisi maintained and where.