Beeman Freeman

Morgan Freeman beekeeper bees

Morgan ‘Beeman’ Freeman

Morgan Freeman is incredible. Whether you enjoyed him driving over Ms Daisy or gaining redemption after Shawshank, you likely admired the way the man can perform. I really began to appreciate Freeman when I started watching his series of science documentaries on Discovery, the astrophysics lectures called Through the Wormhole. Respect for the actor is deep – he was born in Tennessee, grew up in rural Mississippi, yet became comfortable in Hollywood. To top it off, at age 65 he earned his pilot’s license and he flies a Cessna 414. Now 77, he decided to become a beekeeper. And it’s not just a one-hive gimmick. He is keeping 26 colonies on his Mississippi farm. He’s the beekeeper. (You’ll enjoy his interview on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show where he told us about his new business.)

So, it’s acting, flying, lecturing, and beekeeping. What’s not to like? That’s what I was wondering when I saw a Facebook page, owned by someone called JD, gushing with pride that Morgan Freeman has taken up with the bees. Facebook, as most readers of this blog know, sometimes turns into a rowdy forum with deadbeats and losers leaving their entrails and brain droppings scattered under even the most innocent of postings. Here is what one respondent replied to JD’s enthusiasm. “Freeman is a creep. Animal scat.” That was it. Nothing more. No explanation, no sources, no references. Just raw, juvenile arrogant opinion. Nothing at all to back up the stupidity, just mindless trolling rants. And this is a problem with much “social media.” Here in Canada, the RCMP have just arrested someone for allegedly bullying a former co-worker by allegedly posting crap about the co-worker, co-worker’s friends, and co-workers family on the net. The alleged bully, with over 100 charges against him, allegedly went to the trouble of creating fake Facebook accounts under the victims’ names and then, for years, he apparently wrote all manner of insult about them. If ordinary people can be attacked, how does a person like Morgan Freeman defend himself against tirades that have no substance? Why are so many people cowardly bullying and lying, while hidden behind somewhat anonymous walls? I have received my share of mail from the stupids. You, of course, learn to ignore it and you worry about the safety of the sender’s family, but it still burns up a little bit of your soul when you are hit by spitballs.

By the way, if you suspect Freeman is not really the Beeman Freeman, read on. He was asked what he is doing with the bees right now. “Feeding them sugar syrup. I mix two parts water and one part sugar.” He is also (so far) not using a bee suit in his apiary rounds. How does he keep from getting stung? “I resonate,” the new beekeeper said.

About Ron Miksha

Ron Miksha is a bee ecologist working at the University of Calgary. He is also a geophysicist and does a bit of science writing and blogging. Ron has worked as a radio broadcaster, a beekeeper, and Earth scientist. (Ask him about seismic waves.) He's based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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