Since the beginning of humankind and all throughout history, people have been obsessed with bees. Accounts of beekeepers date all the way back to Ancient Greece with Aristotle being most well known. Today’s beekeepers are assumed to be eccentric old men living in Vermont making their own mead and maple syrup. In actuality, beekeeping is much more common. In fact, many celebrities practice the art. It’s becoming more and more mainstream, especially with the growth of environmentalism.
Scarlett Johansen, the star from Captain America and Lucy, began beekeeping after receiving a hive of bees as a wedding present from Samuel L. Jackson. She received the hive from Jackson after their constant discussions of the global collapse of bees. She currently uses the honey from her bees as an organic skincare beauty regimen.
Morgan Freeman detailed his transformation of his 126-acre ranch in Mississippi to a bee haven on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Channeling his inner Berkeley hippie, he does not use any protection while beekeeping because he “resonates” and “becomes one” with the bees.
Leo Tolstoy, a Russian author, detailed his beekeeping knowledge while penning War and Peace. Tolstoy’s insight came from owning his own hives while in Russia. His wife writes in her diary describing Tolstoy’s love of bees stating, “He is crouching in front of his hives, net over his head. The apiary has become the centre of the world for him now and everybody has to be interested exclusively in Bees!”.
Sylvia Plath, famed for authoring The Bell Jar, was fascinated with bees and owned her own hives. Months before her death, she wrote poems using bees as a descriptive point for her degenerating relationship with her husband. The poems describe her isolation from her spouse along with her tumultuous experiences with beekeeping.
Sting from The Police
Gordon Sumner, more commonly known as Sting from The Police, has been affected deeply by bees despite not owning any hives. He received his stage name, Sting, during college from a band mate who believed Sumner resembled a bee from often wearing a black and yellow sweater. He is now the Patron of the beekeeping charity, Bees for Development.
Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Red Hot Chili Peppers’s bassist, Flea, has extensively documented his adoration of bees on Instagram. He has established an apiary, which holds three hives, totaling over 60,000 bees. As an environmentalist and true beekeeper, he has affectionately termed his hives as “Flea’s bees”.
The White House
The Obamas have been at the forefront of environmental issues since entering office in 2008. Michelle Obama decided to own a hive for her organic garden after hearing about an extra hive that the White House carpenter possessed. Currently, the hive pollinates the Obama’s blooming garden. The White House Chef is also utilizing the hive for its honey.
Coinciding with his nature, the Patron Saint of Animals, Pope Francis owns several hives on his Vatican farm at Castel Gandolfo. The farm has been earmarked as the Pope’s summer residence since the 16th century. The papal bees aid in the pollination of 800-year-old olive trees and vegetable gardens in the self-sustaining farm.