1. Morgan Freeman
See everyone’s favorite narrator talk about the first 2 weeks of having his bees at home.
2. Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson received her hives as a wedding present from Samuel L. Jackson.
Jackson said he was inspired to gift Johansson the hives after hearing her talk about the plight of bees. “Scarlett,” he said, “was always talking about how the bees were dying and the planet was going to die.”
3. Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart doesn’t only focus on making homes beautiful. She runs a homestead, grows organic fruits and veggies and keeps bees.
In 2013, she lost her hives suddenly and had to have new bees installed. Martha is a dedicated rural beekeeper who won’t let the pitfalls of the job stop her.
4. Sherlock Holmes
Ok, so Sherlock isn’t real.
However, he did retire to a life of beekeeping when his author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, wanted to retire the character. Sherlock’s retirement included writing a book on beekeeping, Practical Handbook of Bee Culture and some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen.
He always was a driven guy. He couldn’t relax even in retirement.
Yes, the President of the United States has bee hives. The White House had hives installed on the South Lawn in the spring of 2010. Several presidents have kept bees personally, but these were the first ever on the grounds of the White House.
Just so you know, the White House also brews its own beer using this homemade honey. The brew has won several awards. Way to go bees!
Check out their several varieties of Honey flavored beers here.
One last update! On May 19, 2015, the White House released “National Strategy to Promote the Healthy of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators“. Download it here!
6. Maria Von Trapp
The real Maria Von Trapp came to the United States in the early 1940s and bought a 660 acre farm in Stowe, Vermont. While not on tour with the Von Trapp Family Singers, she was tending to her bees and running a summer music camp for children.
Of course, her story has been immortalized by the movie and broadway play of her early life and escape from the Nazis in “The Sound of Music“. Thankfully that wasn’t the end of her story.
7. Sir Edmund Hillary
Sir Edmund Hillary’s love affair with bees started in his childhood as he learned the skills from his father who was also a beekeeper. Hillary’s official occupation at the time that he became the first man to reach the summit of Mt. Everest was beekeeper.
He was always a humble man. At the announcement of his death in 2008, then Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark said: “Sir Ed described himself as an average New Zealander with modest abilities. In reality, he was a colossus.”
8. Martha Kearney
Martha Kearney is an award winning journalist at the BBC. Her career has spanned radio, television, politics, women’s issues and documentary movies.
She even did a 4 part series titled “The Wonder of Bees” Her documentary movie is “Who Killed the Honey Bee?”
She is a true and outspoken advocate for bees in her career and a keeper in her spare time.
9. Sylvia Plath
The young poet Sylvia Plath and her husband Ted Hughes kept bees briefly before her suicide in 1963. The bees played prominently in her poetry after the arrived in her life. Read them here.
- The Bee Meeting
- The Arrival of the Bee Box
- The Swarm
This love most likely came from her father, Otto Plath. He was an Entomologist and a professor of biology at Boston University. He was also a published author, but his was a scientific book about bumblebees.
10. Steve Vai
Steve Vai is a rock-n-roll legend. He has played guitar and keyboard wtih Frank Zappa, David Lee Roth, Whitesnake, Meatloaf and more.
Vai not only keeps bees, but he uses the honey produced to raise money for his Make A Noise Foundation. He has been named an honorary member of the British Beekeepers’ Association.
11. Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi is a stand-out on this list because he is the only one who has gotten in trouble for beekeeping. Or more specifically, his taxes were lowered due to an old exemption on the books for lowering the property taxes of farmers.
The whole thing has been straightened out now. It appears that Mr. Bon Jovi didn’t hold a grudge against the bees because they are still buzzing on his 7.1 acre farm in New Jersey.