For several years, American actor Morgan Freeman has been converting land on his Mississippi ranch into a vast bee sanctuary; a significant gesture for the environment, at a time when these creatures are experiencing a worrying decline.
We mostly know him for his acting skills, but Morgan Freeman also seems to be passionate about a whole other activity than acting: beekeeping. The 81-year-old American actor has announced that he has turned his Mississippi ranch into a real bee sanctuary. This is just one way to fight against the relentless decline that insects face today ...
The idea came to the actor in the summer of 2014. In an interview with television host Jimmy Fallon, Morgan Freeman revealed that he had recently been practising beekeeping activities in his spare time - a choice that results, as indicated by the actor, in his awareness of the deaths Hymenoptera are currently suffering.
In order to devote himself to his new passion, Morgan Freeman has imported no less than 26 hives from the neighbouring state of Arkansas. Set up on the lands of his Mississippi ranch, the bees have freely benefited from lavender and magnolia plants placed at their disposal; in addition to the sugary water offered by the actor.
Rather than making honey from these winged insects, Morgan Freeman decided to let them live freely, and does not try to harvest their honey, as he pointed out during his discussions with Jimmy Fallon: "I'm not trying not to harvest honey or anything else, I just feed them ... "; an indulgence that the bees seem to appreciate.
Understanding and meeting their needs
"I have never worn any protection with my bees, and they haven’t stung me yet [...]", explains the American actor; who seems ready to do anything to pamper his little proteges: "I have a lot of flowering plants and I also have a gardener. When she looks after the bees, all she's trying to do is understand what they would like to do. So we have acres and acres of clover, and we have some plants like lavender, I have something like, maybe, 140 magnolias, huge blossoms”, says the comedian. A safe haven for these Hymenoptera, which are threatened all over the world.
The pressures on bees are multiple: parasites, pesticides, or destruction of their habitat. As a result, domestic wild species have been experiencing a disturbing decline for several years - a more than alarming trend when almost a third of our food depends on the bees’ pollination.
Worthy of the worst disaster movies, a scenario of a world without bees unfortunately does not seem to be fiction anymore. All that remains is to hope that all actors get involved - not just film professionals - to try to stop the phenomenon.