What were once considered stinging insects that would send you running for safety are now seen as vulnerable lives that could end the human race if we don’t help them repopulate. There’s one particular celebrity who has taken things into his own hands, converting over 125-acres of his ranch into one giant bee sanctuary. That celebrity is Morgan Freeman.
The Decline of Bees and the Risks it Poses
Bees are on a drastic decline with approximately 1 in 4 wild bee species in the United States being at risk of extinction, according to new studies. While there are many contributing factors to the bee decline, the main ones are linked to industrial agriculture, climate change and the terrible pesticides that are commonly used on plants. Sure, bees were once seen as pesky insects that would sting you if they got the chance (this is not true and bees are not out to get you), but research has shown just how valuable these beautiful pollinators are for humankind.
The Dangers of a Bee Decline
Without bees, it’s estimated that the human race could only survive four years as they play an essential part throughout ecosystems. For starters, there are a number of plants that can only be pollinated by bees. Without bees, these plants would die off which would begin a rippling effect that gradually worsens.
As plants begin to die, animals who feed on those plants will also decline and the animals that feed on those animals would quickly follow in suit. Eventually, there would be a drastic decline in habitats and food webs that are likely to trigger additional extinctions of plants, animals and yes, possibly even humankind.
While the loss of bees is not likely to lead to famine, it would dramatically alter the human food chain which could result in our own extinction. For example, many fruits and vegetables cannot be grown at the quantity and speed that are needed today, without bees. Thus, food prices would skyrocket, leaving many people hungry and desperate which again, would create another rippling effect that can be devastating for the world and every living thing on it.
From Actor and Film Director to the Owner of a Bee Sanctuary
Morgan Freeman is a man of many things. He’s an actor, film director and philanthropist and as of 2014, Beekeeper could also be added to his list. At 81-years of age, Morgan decided to take the bee decline into his own hands by converting his 124-acre ranch into one giant bee sanctuary.
It all began in 2014 when Morgan began to dive into beekeeping in an effort to preserve healthy environments. In one interview with Jimmy Fallon, he explained his motivation stating, “There is a concerted effort for bringing bees back onto the planet…We do not realize that they are the foundation, I think, of the growth of the planet, the vegetation…”. And yes, he even gets right in on the action, feeding the bees sugar and water and planting bee-friendly plants, such as lavender, magnolia trees and clover.
How to Help Bees Without a Bee Sanctuary
Bees are vital to our ecosystems and survival and although you may not be able to convert 125 acres of land into a bee sanctuary like Morgan Freeman did, you can do something. Here are some easy things you can do to help save bees:
- Plant bee-friendly flowers
- Avoid using chemicals on your lawn or garden
- Leave weeds bee
- Don’t swat at or kill bees when they’re flying around you
- Leave a small bowl of fresh water outside for bees to drink
- Shop local, earth-friendly businesses
It isn’t completely unheard of to hear of celebrities donating to amazing causes but this feel good news story takes the cake. Morgan Freeman is one celebrity who is sharing his wealth with the one thing we all need to survive – bees.