Morgan Freeman Built A Real Sanctuary For Honeybees. A Story About Passion

People have been talking about the danger that honeybees are in for years, but it's not that often that you hear about a world-renowned actor taking major action regarding this. Morgan Freeman has done just that.

More exactly, the iconic actor tried and succeeded to create a real "heaven" for the little and gentle creatures. Yes, the honeybees.

Morgan Freeman Built A Real Sanctuary For Honeybees.

Morgan Freeman has been an active environmentalist for decades. Climate change and disaster relief remain priorities for him, but bees have come to occupy a special place in his heart and concerns.

Morgan Freeman And His Sanctuary For Honeybees

The 85-year-old actor turned his 124-acre ranch in Mississippi into a bee "sanctuary" in 2014 after taking up beekeeping as a hobby.

In addition to planting acre after acre of bee-attractive plants like clover, lavender, and magnolia trees, Morgan Freeman imported 26 bee colonies from Arkansas.

Also, the actor stated that he wanted to reestablish "the base of the growth of the world" by creating a bee sanctuary.

Morgan Freeman revealed why he chose to turn his ranch into a home for honeybees during a 2016 appearance on Larry King Live.

"There has been a frightening decrease in bee colonies, particularly in this nation. In fact, scientists are increasingly warning that this is risky," he told King, according to UpWorthy.

Honeybees In Danger

Scientists assert that humans depend on other insects, such as honeybees, to pollinate our crops.

Our food supply will suffer if pollinators disappear. Losing the bee population could have catastrophic consequences for life as we know it.

According to the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF), honeybees are essential to crop population, contributing $20 billion to crop pollination in the US.

However, colonies are viewed as a commodity. ABF said two-thirds are moved across the nation every year to pollinate crops and make honey.

Morgan Freeman Built A Real Sanctuary For Honeybees Horse

"There is a concerted effort for bringing bees back onto the planet," Morgan Freeman explained in 2014, shortly after he moved the hives to his ranch.

"We do not realize that they are the foundation, I think, of the growth of the planet, the vegetation," Morgan Freeman added, in an interview on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.

According to a poll of American beekeepers performed in 2018 by Auburn University and the University of Maryland, 40% of their honeybee colonies had died the year before, up 33% from the year before.

Massive bee die-offs, or "Colony Collapse Disorder," have been afflicting several bee species for the past ten or so years.

Environmental stressors, insecticides, a lack of genetic variation in colonies, and mites that infest colonies are just a few of the explanations that scientists have proposed.

The survey's experts speculate that bees may also suffer as a result of climate change.

Bloomberg quoted Geoffrey Williams, an adjunct professor at Auburn, as saying: "Food and forage for bees are impacted by weather and climate changes. It goes without saying that bees won't do well if there is a radical, sudden change in the weather while they are already on edge."

Moreover, pesticides are at fault. Commonly employed in agricultural regions, neonicotinoid pesticides kill bees and prevent them from reproducing.

According to scientists, these chemicals steadily decimate bee populations and are especially damaging to queen bees, which has an impact on bee populations over time.

Taking all these factors into account, the sanctuary created by Morgan Freeman is very important.

Caring With Love And Patience

Despite the fact that honey is promoted as a healthier substitute for regular white sugar, bees rely on the sweet syrup as a source of nourishment during harsh winters and nectar shortages.

With that in mind, Morgan Freeman said he doesn't harvest the bees' honey or disrupt their hives, stressing that his only goal is to give them a safe space to live.

Morgan Freeman A Story About Passion

"As of 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.’"

When the bee hives arrived at his ranch, the actor was able to build a unique relationship with his new friends.

Actually, Morgan Freeman claims he never got stung despite not wearing a protective suit or hat and fed the bees sugar water while they adapted to their new environment.

It is possible to support the bees without consuming their honey. Similar to Morgan Freeman's sanctuary, bee-friendly blooming plants can be planted to support insect growth.

"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," Morgan Freeman explained.

The Boy, The Man, The Bee Savior

Morgan Freeman was the youngest of five children and was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on June 1, 1937.

While his parents looked for work in Chicago, he spent a large portion of his childhood living with his grandmother in Mississippi. Even though they briefly went back to Tennessee, the family ultimately made their home in Greenwood, Mississippi.

At age 12, Morgan Freeman showed a natural talent for the stage. When he graduated from high school in 1959, he even received a partial theatre scholarship, but he declined it in favor of enlisting in the U.S. Air Force, according to All That’s Interesting.

He left the military and decided to pursue a dual-acting career. He established himself on Broadway in the 1970s after years of struggle to find work before receiving Oscar nominations in the 1980s.

Morgan Freeman became more politically and environmentally active in the second half of his career as his notoriety grew.

The actor started a relief effort for Grenada's hurricane Ivan victims in 2004. Since then, the fund has evolved into PlanIt Now, a charity that provides aid to residents of hurricanes and severe-storm-prone locations.

Also, Morgan Freeman provided the narration for a number of climate change documentaries, including one that made its debut before the UN.

But the change he made to his own ranch was the most overt manifestation of his climate action.

What Can You Do To Help Bees

While it's not easy to follow in Morgan Freeman's footsteps and build a bee sanctuary, there are a few things almost anyone can do to help out.

Morgan Freeman Built A Real Sanctuary A Story About Passion

For example, one important thing is to know your honey source. Get to know your beekeepers if you consume honey. To feed their bees over the winter, many beekeepers utilize organic sugar.

Bear in mind that 1/12 teaspoon of honey is equal to 1 bee. That tablespoon of honey requires a great deal of effort to produce.

Also - and Morgan Freeman would agree - keep your space free of pesticides. This is vital for the survival of all creatures.

And of course, don’t be lazy and indifferent and learn a little about bees. Many people have been raised to be afraid of bees. And they shouldn’t be afraid.

Protecting the planet and animal species is everyone's responsibility, and Morgan Freeman must be applauded for his initiative.

There is a saying: One flower does not make a spring. That's why we hope Morgan Freeman will inspire many other people around the world to do something to help the honeybees, and be more considerate of our environment.

Pictures Credit:

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