Cheerios Is Giving Away 100 Million Wildflower Seeds To Save The Honey Bee Populations Around The World

Honeybees pollinate 70% of humanity’s food crops. And they’re dying off quickly

Honey Nut Cheerios has stripped its familiar mascot Buzz the Bee from its cereal boxes as part of a company-wide effort to alert the public that honeybees are dying off at a dangerous rate, and that doesn’t just spell disaster for cartoon spokesmen.

In addition to the packaging change, Honey Nut Cheerios, a brand of General Mills, is taking a number of other steps, not just to create awareness of this worsening issue, but to fix it as well. Said General Mills Canada vice president of marketing Emma Eriksson, "We have a bee as our mascot and honey in our product, so we thought somebody should be championing this cause, and we thought that we could be a great champion.”

Cereal boxes have long been a focus of attention at the breakfast table, but the omission of the bee on the box is just one of many red flags that the company is waving.

The hashtag #BringBackTheBees is part of a social media campaign that features both statistics demonstrating the importance of honeybees to our ecosystem—they pollinate 70 percent of food crops throughout the world—and the silhouette of the missing bee mascot.

With the marketing campaign comes action as well. General Mills is offering up 100 million wildflower seeds to promote planting among its customers. The seeds are available in packets of 500, to be planted anywhere they can be. Unfortunately, they’re not including the seeds in the cereal boxes themselves (a logistical issue since brands stopped inserting prizes into packaging), but they’re available by mail, for free, right here.

Additionally, the brand is taking action themselves, pledging a crop of 3,300 acres of wildflowers amid oat farms in the next two-and-a-half years.

To learn more about the very real consequences of the declining bee population (from a less corporate source), watch this video’s quick synopsis of the issue facing the world.

Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

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