At 81 years of age, Morgan Freeman is one of the most recognizable faces—and voices—in the acting industry as well as the world in general. He’s taken on so many different roles in his long career that it’s hard to remember them all, but it’s one of his newer, lesser-known roles that could be the actor’s most important yet. Several years ago, Freeman turned his Mississippi ranch, which consists of 124 acres, into a haven for honey bees and wild bees alike, hoping this effort will provide serious growth for these tiny pollinators’ declining numbers.
In 2014, according to Freeman, he started tending 26 beehives as a beekeeper, and he further explained that countless amounts of pollinator-friendly flora were planted all around his property and home. Freeman spoke with Jimmy Fallon that year about this new hobby of his while appearing on Fallon’s “The Tonight Show.”
Given he had just begun as a beekeeper two weeks before he and Fallon spoke, Freeman expressed how great he and his bee colonies were getting along. Freeman even relayed to Fallon how he forwent wearing protection in the form of a beekeeper’s veil and suit while tending these precious pollinators, signifying that he’d reached the ease and skill you might expect from one of his stellar acting performances.
While many can’t admit as much, Freeman didn’t take up this new beekeeping hobby due to any sweet tooth. In fact, this venture was a direct reaction to the huge number of die-offs among the world’s bees, which has been imperiling the chances of bees’ survival for well over a decade. Freeman recognized the chance to contribute and make a difference via personal action, and that’s when he imported his many beehives from the state of Arkansas and began feeding sugar water to them.
The actor stated he doesn’t need the beekeeper’s veil and hat because his bees don’t sting him, with Freeman teasing that the gear is only “for people who can’t resonate” with bees. Fallon jokingly suggested that Freeman was now “at one with the bees,” and Freeman completely agreed.
Admittedly, it would be hard to measure the impact that Freeman’s efforts have had on North America’s bee populations since he started beekeeping, but his efforts are inspiring as a goodwill gesture toward these small but essential creatures that society often takes for granted. Hopefully, others will see Freeman’s actions and want to follow in his footsteps accordingly.
Photo Courtesy of D. Miller via Creative Commons License