Morgan Freeman converts his 124-acre Mississippi ranch into a sanctuary for honey bees to save the insects
Morgan Freeman has converted his 124-acre ranch in Mississippi into a sanctuary for bees, in a bid to help counter the insects’ decreasing population.
According to Forbes on Wednesday, the 81-year-old actor has imported 26 bee hives into his ranch from Arkansas, and has been growing bee-friendly magnolia trees and lavender to encourage them to visit his home.
The Shawshank Redemption star began his journey as a beekeeper in 2014, and has been working to feed the bees sugar and water to help them.
Helping out: Morgan Freeman converted his 124-acre Mississippi ranch into a sanctuary for honey bees to save the insects, it was reported on Wednesday
Freeman has previously discussed the foray during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, where he discussed the need to save the bees in order to maintain a healthy environment.
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He also explained that he never wears a bee suit or hat to protect himself, and at the time he added that he hadn’t been stung by them.
While he also explained that he just feeds the bees, and does not want to disrupt the beehives or harvest the honey that they make.
Doing his part: The 81-year-old actor has imported 26 bee hives into his ranch from Arkansas and has been growing bee-friendly magnolia trees and lavender to encourage them to visit
On the show, he said: ‘There’s a concerted effort to bring bees back onto the planet.’
‘We do not realise that they are the foundation, I think, of the growth of the planet, the vegetation… I have so many flowering things and I have a gardener too.’
Morgan added: ‘Because she takes care of the bees too, all she does is figure out, “OK, what would they like to have?”, so we’ve got acres and acres of clover, we’re planting stuff like lavender, I’ve got like, maybe 140 magnolia trees, big blossoms.’
‘They haven’t [stung me] yet, because right now I’m not trying to harvest honey or anything, I’m just feeding them… I think they understand, “Hey, don’t bother this guy, he’s got sugar water here.”‘
Struggle: Bees’ natural habitats are being threatened by the use of pesticides and man-made changes to the range of plant species found in the environment
Bees’ natural habitats are being threatened by the use of pesticides and man-made changes to the range of plant species found in the environment.
More than a decade ago, US beekeepers began finding their hives decimated by what became known as colony collapse disorder.
Millions of bees mysteriously disappeared, leaving farms with fewer pollinators for crops.
Explanations for the phenomenon have included exposure to pesticides or antibiotics, habitat loss and bacterial infections.
WHAT IS THE HONEYBEE CRISIS?
Honeybees, both domestic and wild, are responsible for around 80 per cent of worldwide pollination, according to Greenpeace.
But bee colony collapses across the globe are threatening their vital work.
Bees are dying from a combination of pesticides, habitat destruction, drought, nutrition deficit, global warming and air pollution among other factors.
The global bee crisis can potentially be solved if dangerous pesticides are eliminated, wild habitats are preserved and ecological agriculture is restored, according to Greenpeace (file photo)
Greenpeace has reported: ‘The bottom line is that we know humans are largely responsible for the two most prominent causes: Pesticides and habitat loss.’
This is important for a number of reasons, chief among them the amount of work bees put into our food production.
Vegetables, nuts and fruits are pollinated by bees. Of the top human food crops, a whopping 70 of 100 are pollinated by the creatures, which account for as much as 90 per cent of global nutrition.
Greenpeace has suggested the following solutions to the problem:
- The preservation of wild habitats in order to protect pollinator health
- The restoration of ecological agriculture
- The elimination of the world’s most dangerous pesticides
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