Actor, director and philanthropist Morgan Freeman has converted his 124-acre ranch into a honeybee sanctuary to help protect the insect.
In an interview, Freeman said, “There is a concerted effort for bringing bees back onto the planet…We do not realise that they are the foundation, I think, of the growth of the planet, the vegetation…”
Freeman isn’t the only celebrity beekeeper. Scarlett Johansson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Michelle Obama are also known to keep bees.
According to the urban dictionary, a beegan is someone who eschews all animal products from their diet, with the exception of insect products, most notably, honey.
There’s actually a whole website dedicated to the philosophy stating that the movement was started to promote beekeepers.
Why bees are important
It is estimated that one third of the food that we consume each day relies on pollination mainly by bees.
Bees also act as indicators of the state of the environment with Jose Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation saying “bees are a sign of a well-functioning ecosystem”.
Their presence, absence or quantity tells us when something is happening with the environment and that appropriate action is needed.
Despite their importance, honey bees are disappearing globally at an alarming rate due to pesticides, parasites, disease and habitat loss.
Honeybees play a crucial role in the nation’s food production, contributing an estimated $15 billion to the U.S. economy each year by helping to pollinate at least 90 crops.