The incredibly brilliant Morgan Freeman, currently in his 80s, is now a beekeeper in addition to being an actor, a film director, and a philanthropist. As far as the Hollywood actor is concerned, bees are the foundation of vegetation growth on the planet.
That's right, and Morgan Freeman learned that honeybee populations were in sharp decline and decided to do something about it. Of course, it's unlikely that the entire bee population in the world will vanish any time soon, but we still have a reason to be concerned if reports by experts are anything to go by.
Freeman took action and brought in 26 beehives from Arkansas to his Mississippi ranch in 2014. The actor is out to save the world from the woes that might come from destroying bee habitats.
Freeman Spoke About His Bee Sanctuary To Jimmy Fallon
Freeman was truly concerned that the numbers of honeybees worldwide were declining fast, which spurred him into action and led to his decision to turn his 124-acre ranch into a bee sanctuary. He made the revelation in front of the live audience on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
In another interview with Larry King, he talked about the issue of bee colonies disappearing:
"There's been a frightening loss of bee colonies, particularly in this country. To such an extent that the scientists are saying 'This is dangerous.'"
However, this is not the first environmental issue Morgan Freeman has shown such deep concern for over the years. For years, he has been a spirited environmentalist.
It's just that lately, bees have become a specific passion for him.
Freeman's Dream Was To Become An Air Force Pilot
Today, Morgan Freeman is one of the most recognizable faces globally. His voice is also among the most famous in the world.
Freeman was born on June 1, 1937, in Memphis, Tennessee, as the youngest of the five children.
Eventually, his family settled in Greenwood, Mississippi.
At the age of 12, he was already demonstrating a talent for acting and even won a partial drama scholarship when graduating from high school in 1959. However, he rejected the offer in favor of joining the U.S. Air Force.
His dream was to fly planes all his life.
However, his career in the Air Force was not as exciting as he had anticipated, and he decided to leave. He went back to his old passion and started a career as an actor, and today, he has been in more roles than most people can name.
At First He Struggled As An Actor
In the beginning, being a success was a struggle for him. He could not easily find work.
In the 70s, he was on Broadway and TV. Luckily, in the 80s, he managed to get Oscar-nominated roles.
Still, as his popularity as an actor grew, he became more committed as an environmental and political activist.
In the year 2004, he started a fund that is currently known as PLAN!T NOW, which assists those staying in areas with serious storms and hurricanes.
He has also lent his iconic voice to many documentaries on climate change.
The Decision To Start A Bee Sanctuary Was Huge
However, Morgan's most notable move today was his announcement that his 124-acre ranch was now a bee sanctuary. He made this decision upon learning how significant the decline of honeybees was to life as we know it.
There has been a sharp decline in bee populations over the last couple of decades. EPA even coined the name "Colony Collapse Disorder" to explain the worrying phenomenon.
When Morgan Freeman learned about this, he immediately took action.
By the time he announced the project on television, he had been working at it for a few weeks. He had also modified his ranch to sustain the bee populations living there.
Freeman also planted clover, lavender, magnolia, and other trees friendly to bees to ensure the bees lived there comfortably. He also works to feed the bees sugar and water.
As it turns out, bees are having a problem thriving in the modern world because their habitats are getting destroyed to make way for farming and human development.
For Freeman, ensuring the ranch was sustainable was an ultimate goal.
Natural Ally To The Bees
Freeman joked that he was "never going to get stung." He revealed that he had never been stung.
Fallon also joked that Freeman was now "at one with the bees," and the actor completely agreed. In fact, he does not need to put on a bee suit to feed them.
The actor joked that outfits were for people who cannot relate with the bees, but he was their natural ally, and that made a huge difference. He does not plan on harvesting honey or disrupting the beehives.
About the same time he set up the bee sanctuary, he also played a part in the production of the documentary What's Possible. The production was screened at the United Nations Climate Summit.
As far as he was concerned, global bee populations were as important as rising temperatures.
Bee Colonies In Decline
A 2016 survey found out that beekeepers lost about fifty percent of their colonies from April 2015 to 2016.
Harmful pesticides are also destroying bee habitats, which is why people were alarmed when Trump's Administration approved the use of a bee-killing pesticide in 2018 by lifting the ban on these chemicals.
The use of these products has been linked to widespread decline in bee colonies.
Bees have a role as key pollinators for plants. Therefore, their destruction can result in many ecological and agricultural challenges.
According to Freeman, there is a lot of effort being made to ensure bees come back. However, there is no evidence that bees are going extinct, but it's clear something has to be done to make sure their decline is slowed down.
Although his efforts will not have a huge impact on bee populations in North America, Morgan Freeman's efforts help highlight the need to do something to ensure that these small and useful insects are conserved.