Taste

Honey Nut Cheerios Pulled Its Bee Mascot Because Bees Are Disappearing (UPDATED)

That stings.
03/15/2017 04:19pm ET | Updated March 30, 2017

UPDATE: Some of the wildflower seeds in Cheerios’s free seed packets may be considered invasive species in some regions, according to Kathryn Turner, an evolutionary ecologist with Colorado State University. You may want to avoid planting flowers that aren’t native to your area.

Bees are in trouble, and Honey Nut Cheerios wants to help.

The brand pulled its bee mascot Buzz from the front of cereal boxes in the U.S. this month to call attention to the alarming decline in pollinator populations around the world.

Honey Nut Cheerios is also giving out free wildflower seeds so cereal lovers can grow their own home for bees and their pollinating pals to thrive. It ran the same campaign in Canada last year.

Without bees, the food world would be a very different place.

A third of food around the world would disappear without honeybees, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Pollinated crops include fruit, seeds, vegetables, oils, and nuts. But over the last decade or so, pesticides and parasites have killed off bee populations at rates of up to 30 percent per year. In January, a North American bumble bee was added to the U.S. endangered species list for the first time.

That spells trouble for the makers of Honey Nut Cheerios: About 30 percent of General Mills products rely on pollination, according to a press release.

You can help bring back the bees by ordering Cheerios’s free wildflower seeds and planting a garden home for bees, butterflies and wasps. You can also avoid using pesticides and leave patches of land bare for critters to thrive.

Meanwhile, Honey Nut Cheerios will be transforming 3,300 acres of its oat crops into bee-friendly flower fields by 2020.

Now THAT is something to buzz about.

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