We’ve all become familiar with the lovable Bee character on the side of the Honey Nut Cheerios box (no, we didn’t know his name either). While walking down your cereal aisle recently, however, you may see that our friend has gone missing! Instead, a white silhouette stands in its place in an effort to highlight the problem with the decreasing bee population, you might think it was some sort of protest art project instead of a campaign being run by one of the world’s largest packaged food companies.
The Twin Cities Business Journal reports that General Mills has launched a “Bring Back The Bees” campaign by debuting Honey Nut Cheerios boxes with a blank space where BuzzBee, its famous cartoon mascot, would normally be.
BuzzBee’s break from cereal mascot duties — while only temporary — is the company’s way of raising awareness for pollinators, a crucial aspect of agriculture.
Our diminishing bee colonies and the subsequent effect on pollination isn’t just an ecological matter. Bees are absolutely vital for General Mills’ business as the company admits that 30% of the ingredients used in its products rely on pollination.
As part of its campaign, General Mills is also asking customers to plant over 100 million wildflowers this year. To do so, the company has set up a website where people can order seeds for free and learn about pollination issues.
The Business Journal reports that a similar effort was launched by General Mills in Canada last year.