Morgan Freeman has a long list of titles to his name – esteemed American actor, philanthropist, a narrator, film director, and most recently – beekeeper.
The Shawshank Redemption star has converted his 124-acre Mississipi ranch into a bee sanctuary, with a mission to help counter the decreasing population of these insects. Freeman first got his hands into beekeeping in 2014. He talked about this endeavor when he guested on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Prior to his appearance on the show, he had only been beekeeping for a few weeks.
During his interview, Freeman discussed his firsthand experience with the bees as well as the important role of these insects in the preservation of a healthy environment.
He spoke about why he started beekeeping, saying:
“There is a concerted effort for bringing bees back onto the planet…We do not realize that they are the foundation, I think, of the growth of the planet, the vegetation…”
26 beehives were imported from Arkansas to his ranch in Mississippi. He has been working with the bees by feeding them sugar water and admitted that he has never worn a bee suit and hat, revealing that they haven’t stung him yet. He also has no plans of harvesting their honey and disturbing their beehives for money.
“They haven’t [stung me] yet, because right now I’m not trying to harvest honey or anything, I’m just feeding them… I think they understand, “Hey, don’t bother this guy, he’s got sugar water here.”‘, he shared.
To encourage the bees to visit his home, he has been growing bee-friendly plants in the ranch such as lavenders, clovers, magnolia trees, etc.
Freeman’s venture into beekeeping couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. The Environmental Protection Agency has listed Colony Collapse Disorder as a principal cause of bee population decline over the past five years.
If this decrease continues, a number of ecological and agricultural issues will arise, since bees are key plant pollinators. In fact, domestic and wild honeybees account for around 80 percent of worldwide pollination, according to data from Greenpeace.
The organization has reported that humans are responsible for the two main causes of declining bee populations: pesticides and habitat loss.
Bees have been dying due to other factors such as drought, nutrition deficit, global warming and air pollution among other factors.
Greenpeace suggested crucial steps that would help protect the bees significantly:
- The elimination of the seven most dangerous pesticides
- The preservation of wild habitat to protect pollinator health
- The restoration of ecological agriculture
A big thanks to Morgan Freeman for doing his part to save the honey bees! May this inspire more people to follow his example and take their own steps in saving our planet.
Watch his interview below on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon as he talks about his beekeeping venture.
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