Everyone loves Morgan Freeman, and this amazing actor, filmmaker, and director has played numerous roles in his long career in Hollywood. However, his newest one is of high importance for all of us. Namely, he decided to help and invest to revive the bee population.
Unfortunately, bees are dying off at an alarming rate, and people all around the world are trying to help. Many plant flowers for bees to visit, petition to stop the use of pesticides that destroy bees, and even start keeping bees.
According to Jodi Monelle, founder and CEO of LIVEKINDLY:
“Bee populations have been decreasing steadily across the globe over recent years, and with a ginormous 44% loss between 2015 and 2016 in the U.S. alone, it seems that now is a more crucial time than ever to find effective methods to protect them.
The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) states that “Researchers are calling the mass disappearance ‘Colony Collapse Disorder’” and that “The number of hives in the United States is now at its lowest point in the past 50 years”.
Whilst researchers are still theorizing the main cause of colony collapses, it is widely recognized that environmental damage is having a hugely negative impact on their (very delicate) ecosystem.”
Yet, these humble insects are playing an essential role in the health of our environment and its ecosystems.
“Bees, in particular, are largely responsible for regulating our food supply by way of pollinating of our crops. In fact, just 2% of bees have been found to be responsible for pollinating 80% of our crops (globally!).
Bees may be small but they are extremely hard working creatures and if that tiny two percent is lost, 80% of our food from crop cultivation will also disappear. We’re talking apples, oranges, avocados, blueberries, broccoli, onions, almonds and so much more.
Considering that the world is already suffering from a severe food scarcity – is this what we want to be heading towards?
Additionally, bees are extremely important factors when it comes to feeding other living organisms (plants and animals alike). They are largely an integral part to many ecosystems and losing them means losing birds, mice, squirrels, flowers, and weeds the same.”
Therefore, Morgan Freeman decided to turn his 124-acre ranch in Mississippi into a sanctuary for wild bees with bee-friendly plants like fruit trees and clover, magnolia trees and lavender.
In an interview in 2014, he told Jimmy Fallon that he had a new hobby, and took beekeeping just two weeks before, and explained his experience. He even admitted not wearing a protective beekeeper’s suit or veil when tending to his precious pollinators, since he developed the needed skills.
“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…I have a lot of flowering things, and I have a gardener too.
As she takes care of the bees too, all she does is figure out, ‘OK, what would they like to have?’, so we have got acres and acres of clover, and we have some planting stuff like lavender, I have got like, maybe 140 magnolia trees, big blossoms.”
He explained that he started his hobby as a result of the mass bee die-offs during the past several years, and he imported 26 hives full of bees from Arkansas and started feeding them sugar water.
“I have not ever used the beekeeping hat with my bees. They haven’t stung me yet, as right now I am not trying to harvest honey or anything, but I just feed them…I also think that they understand, ‘Hey, don’t bother this guy, he’s got sugar water here.”
Even though it is not easy to measure the effects of his efforts on the larger bee populations in North America, his story should serve as an example to remind us that we can all do something to save the bees and prevent the extinction of those hard-working tiny living creatures.