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Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Critics say Cheerios' bee-saving campaign could hurt some ecosystems

Critics say Cheerios' bee-saving campaign could hurt some ecosystems

To promote this call to action, Cheerios with honey and nuts has once again removed his beloved mascot, Buzz the Bee, from his cereal packs for a limited time.

General Mills also revealed it has given away 1.5 billion free wildflower seeds so people can grow them for bees. Despite their grave importance as key pollinators of crops, the global bee population experienced a sharp decline in the past few years.

The move is the brand's way of kicking off a campaign to raise awareness of the collapse of honey bee colonies, prolific and important pollinators of the world's food supply. Mainly, those are habitat loss (nearly 40 percent of all land is used for agriculture, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization), climate change (the land that's left is changing, and this is shrinking the ranges of some bees) and rampant chemical use.

There's one problem with Cheerios' charitable effort, however: some of the wildflower species included in the packet of seeds can do serious damage to various ecosystems across the USA, reports Lifehacker.

This year, the Beekeepers campaign focuses particularly on children.

"The flower varieties within the Bee Friendlier Mix were selected for their flowers which produce nectar and pollen that are attractive to bees and other pollinators", the company said.

To further encourage Canadians to plant wildflowers to help bring back the bees, Honey and Walnut General Mills and Cheerios will launch experiential activation in downtown Toronto. "Bee populations everywhere have been declining at an alarming rate, and that includes honeybees like Buzz", posted Cheerios. Honey Nut Cheerios plans to host more than 3,000 acres of bee habitat on its oat farms by 2020, General Mills announced. The fronts of boxes have a large bright-green callout to "Help Bring Back the Bees".

"No one thing here is going to save the day, but the more ears that get tuned into the situation, the more likely we're going to end up with a better situation".

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