Morgan Freeman is a popular actor known for his roles in movies like Shawshank Redemption, Bruce Almighty, The Dark Knight, and many more, however outside of his movie career Freeman has decided to become a bee keeper. Through his interviews, narrations, and projects it becomes clear that Freeman is a celebrity who cares about social justice, as well as environmental protection.
One Earth partnered with Freeman to make a great video called Why are we here?. This short film questions our role in sustaining the environment, and living in harmony with all creatures. Although this video was filmed about nine years ago, Morgan Freeman shows his consistency of actions and principles over the years with this new bee keeping endeavor. His message then is the same as it is now- we have the power to save this planet through our actions.
“Why are we here? Of all of the species that share this world, we’re the only ones with the power to protect the planet. The only ones with the power to protect every species on earth….. including ourselves.”~ Morgan Freeman narrating Why are we here?
How is bee keeping saving the planet?
Bees, as well as bats, and birds, are pollinators who play a huge role in our ecosystem. The University of Berkley California did a study after reading the National Research Council’s report (here is a more recent study by the same council) about the declining bee populations in the state. The team set out to test the popular saying ” You can thank a pollinator for one out of every three bites of food”.
Out of the 115 crops studied, 87 depend to some degree upon animal pollination, accounting for one-third of crop production globally. Of those crops, 13 are entirely reliant upon animal pollinators, 30 are greatly dependent and 27 are moderately dependent.
There are many factors as to why the bees are declining in population, most of which have to do with the farming practices going on today. Pesticides are poisoning bee populations, and industrial farming’s use of monoculture is leaving the pollinators out of the equation. For more information on exactly how and why this is happening visit sos-bee.org, they also have an online petition you can sign to support a ban of harmful pesticides.
Morgan Freeman is setting the example for people to take the solutions into their own hands. In his interview on Jimmy Fallon, he shows that he has a great deal of respect for these creatures by claiming he does not need a bee keeping outfit. He simply resonates with the bees and they do not attack. Speaking with Fallon, Freeman says he doesn’t even collect the honey, the hive is an effort to restore the bee population.
In another interview Freeman further explains his reasoning as well as his practices for the new pollinator project,
“There’s a concerted effort to bring bees back onto the planet… We do not realize 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. 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.”
You don’t have to be Morgan Freeman to help save the bees, there are plenty of things you can get started with today! Saving the bees can be as simple as planting flowers and other plants that attract pollinators, or if you have space, try to get your own little hive going in your backyard. Attempt to find bee friendly products or research and donate to efforts that aid bees and other pollinators. As Morgan is trying to teach and show us, we have the power to save the earth and species on it!