Since the early 1990s, Oscar winner Morgan Freeman has been a proud owner of a 124-acre multi-million dollar ranch in Charleston, Mississippi. But recently, the star decided to tear his beloved place down. The reason is sure to blow your mind.
Freeman bought the land from his parents back in 1991 which was previously owned by his grandparents. Then the actor helped build a stunning hacienda-inspired property on the site. Undoubtedly, he has made many fond memories there since. “It’s where I was happiest. It’s where I belong,” as Freeman claimed. So, why did he decide to raze such a precious place?
Freeman made his acting debut at the tender age of 9 and has become an iconic Hollywood actor famous for roles like Red in The Shawshank Redemption, as well as his grandfatherly voice. But the career the legend is most proud of has nothing to do with acting, one that is lesser-known and involves every inch of his 124-acre ranch.
Besides acting, Freeman is also devoted to environmental protection. The star has narrated a series of nature documentaries, most notably the Oscar-winning “March of The Penguins” and “What’s Possible” which was shown at the United Nations Climate Summit. In 2014, Freeman set his sights on the worrisome decline in the bee population, and that what eventually led to a drastic change to his property.
To protect the bees, Freeman started by importing 26 fully loaded beehives from Arkansas to his 124-acre Mississippi ranch. He had to ensure that the bees had enough space to roam in. The star fed these little insects water and sugar himself. Well, his efforts didn’t stop there.
To create a suitable habitat for them, Freeman planted a number of bee-friendly plants such as lavender, clover, and magnolia trees. The megastar went above and beyond to convert his 124-acre ranch into a bee sanctuary. All his hard work has paid off, as the bees apparently love him according to his claims on The Tonight Show.
A few weeks after Freeman began beekeeping, he opened up on his passion to Jimmy Fallon. The star admitted that he’d recently found an interest in bees and already felt comfortable in their company. He didn’t wear a protective suit when around the swarms and surprisingly, he never got stung.
“Because right now I’m not trying to harvest honey or anything. I just feed them. I think they understand. ‘Hey, don’t bother this guy, he’s got sugar water here.'” Freeman explained. It may sound a little humorous, but things got much more serious when he talked about the reason why he started beekeeping.
“There is 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,” as the actor put it. And this was not the only time he has expressed his opinion frankly.
The star went on to discuss the issue with Larry King two years later. He asserted that the U.S. government and farming conglomerate Monsanto are to blame for a frightening loss of bee colonies. In addition, he called for stricter regulations on the use of chemicals.
Indeed, the overuse of pesticides and man-made changes to plants have seriously threatened the natural habitat of bees. In the early years of the 21st century, beekeepers discovered that ‘colony collapse disorder’ had led to the disappearance of millions of bees. This could have disastrous effects on the world’s food supply and ecosystem, as these little creatures pollinate plants.
Freeman’s activities with the bees have set a good example for other celebrities to protect the insects and the environment. The good news is that there are many following in his footsteps, among whom are Scarlett Johansson and Denzel Washington.