Morgan Freeman has converted his 124-acre ranch into a sanctuary to save the bees
When you hit a level of success, fame and wealth, the question becomes less about how to get money and more about what to do with it now you do. In some cases, that means buying a couple of yachts and a mega mansion, but with Morgan Freeman, it meant doing something a little different.
Take away his acting ability, and what is he? Film director, narrator, millionaire, philanthropist... and beekeeper.
The 81-year-old's hobby has taken on new life as he's reportedly decided to convert his 124-acre Mississippi ranch into a bee sanctuary. While this is news, his foray into beekeeping in the first place began a few years back. He even spoke about this pastime on a 2014 episode of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
His enjoyment with keeping the honeybees is not his only reason for doing so, however. He also spoke about the need to preserve wild bees, both for the safety of the creatures and to promote a healthy environment in general.
"There is a concerted effort for bringing bees back onto the planet," he said. "We do not realize that they are the foundation, I think, of the growth of the planet, the vegetation."
His ranch has now imported 26 bee hives from Arkansas, where he then feeds the bees sugar and water - and in turn they help to pollinate lavender, clover and magnolia trees on the ranch.
In addition to this - he says he can "resonate" so well with the bees that he never even wears a beesuit around them.
"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."
While he feeds them so they can make honey and keep their hives running, he has no intention of harvesting the honey or disrupting them whatsoever - he's just there to help.
The decline of bee colonies across the world has been well documented, with the EPA highlighting Colony Collapse Disorder as a primary reason behind this over the last five years. Besides the bees themselves, this can cause a number of ecological issues - considering how key bees are to pollination.
It doesn't help that last year, the Trump administration rolled back bans on the use of certain bee-eradicating pesticides.
These neonicotinoid pesticides and insect-resistant GMO crops have in turn led to bee colonies dying across the world. Some research, including one study published in the Science journal, has found consistent links between parasites, pesticides and the loss of habitat to the decline of colonies.
Fortunately, there's bees aren't going to become extinct anytime soon, but the decline in their populations may have a serious impact on both wild plant life and agricultural crops.