High fives to Morgan Freeman for transforming his ranch into a 124-acre honeybee sanctuary.

Morgan Freeman has donated his land to honeybees to help stave off a looming disaster.

America's favorite narrator is hoping to tell a new story for the world's waning honeybee population by giving them his 124 acres of land to live on. The 81-year-old actor took up beekeeping as a hobby in 2014 and converted his Mississippi ranch into a bee sanctuary. He brought in 26 bee hives from Arkansas and planted acre upon acre of bee-attracting vegetation including magnolia trees, lavender, and clover.

He fed the bees sugar water himself as they adjusted to their new home, and has said that he's never been stung despite not wearing a protective suit or hat. Freeman doesn't harvest the bees' honey or disrupt their hives; his goal is to help repopulate the dying honeybee population.


Freeman says his motivation for building a bee sanctuary is to help rebuild "the foundation of the growth of the planet."

In a 2016 interview on Larry King Live, Freeman explained why he decided to transform his ranch into a home for honeybees.

"There has been a frightening loss in bee colonies, particularly in this country," he told King. "To such an extent that scientists are now saying 'This is dangerous.'"

In 2014, shortly after he moved the hives to his ranch, Freeman chatted about his beekeeping hobby with Jimmy Fallon, "There is a concerted effort for bringing bees back onto the planet," he said. "We do not realize that they are the foundation, I think, of the growth of the planet, the vegetation..."

Humans rely on honeybees and other insects to pollinate our crops. If pollinators die off, our food supply will suffer. The chain reaction of losing the bee population could be devastating for life as we know it.

Why are the bees dying? There are multiple answers, and many point to human disruption.

Last year, according a survey conducted by Auburn University and University of Maryland, U.S. beekeepers said that 40 percent of their honeybee colonies had died off in the previous year—a 33% increase from the year prior. The reasons for the die off are multifaceted.

Colony Collapse Disorder has been affecting certain bee species for the past decade or so. Scientists have come up with multiple possible causes, including environmental stressors, insecticides, lack of genetic diversity in colonies, and mites that infest colonies.

Bees may also be a victim of climate change, according to the researchers who conducted the survey. Geoffrey Williams, assistant professor at Auburn, told Bloomberg, "Changes in climate and weather affect food and forage for bees. It’s pretty obvious that if you have bees already on the edge and you have a radical, quick weather shift, they aren’t going to do as well."

Pesticides are also to blame. Neonicotinoid pesticides, which are commonly used in agricultural areas, kill bees and inhibit their ability to reproduce. Scientists say these pesticides kill bee populations slowly, and are particularly harmful to queen bees, which affects bee populations over time.

Kudos to Freeman for creating healthy home for honeybees. Environmental responsibility belongs to all of us, and each act to protect and preserve our planet makes a difference.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.