Angelina Jolie traveled to the South of France to meet with beekeeper-entrepreneurs of UNESCO and Guerlain’s inaugural Women for Bees program, of which she is the godmother
Angelina Jolie is illuminating the the importance of beekeeping.
The Oscar-winning actress and humanitarian, 46, discussed the significance of bees as the insect population dwindles in a video interview with Vogue, published Tuesday. The Eternals star was named the godmother of UNESCO and Guerlain’s Women for Bees program in March, and recently met with members of the program’s first class at l’Observatoire Français d’Apidologie (OFA) in Provence, France for their graduation.
“I thought I knew something about bees and beekeeping and training, and I thought I understood the importance,” Jolie began. “But really, when you really dig into it and you really start to learn about what, for example, what we would lose, 30% of the honey bees disappearing. Had we not had the beekeepers and the work of places like OFA, we would lose them.”
“What happens when we lose them? What happens when we lose them all?” she said.
The Women for Bees initiative seeks to train and support 50 female beekeeper-entrepreneurs from around the world over five years, with a goal of repopulating 125 million bees by 2025, Vogue reported.
In the video, a program participant further touched on the importance of bees, explaining: “Bees are the most important animal on earth. Through their pollinating services, they offer 1 out of 3 bites of food that we eat every day. The world would be completely different without bees.”
As for why the insect population is declining, factors include: habitat loss, pesticides and parasites.
Opening up about the buzzy cause, Jolie said she was drawn to the initiative because the pollinators affect us all.
“I wasn’t a young environmentalist, right? I’m more a humanist. I’ve been very active in displacement in the, the politics of, you know fighting against persecution,” she explained. “But it always leads back to environment. Even displaced people are often displaced because of the damage to the environment.”
After spending time with the Women for Bees class members at the hive and learning, Jolie said she was inspired – and hopes others will be to –to do more to protect and preserve the bee population, which is responsible for a third of the global food supply.
“There are ways that individuals could keep some bees or at least have some flowers or dedicate some part of their life or time to the awareness and the, and the encouragement of these kind of programs,” she said. “Today, here, you felt a family. I would like to think that programs like this will be happening all over the world. So maybe this is the bees. Maybe there’s the tree planting.”
“I hope there are many, and I hope they overlap. And I hope it’s just the new way we live.”