Cheerios giving away wildflower seeds to #BringBackTheBees

Cheerios has given away 1.5 billion wildflower seeds to contribute to increasing the bee population in Canada, they announced recently.

The company asked people to plant the seeds in "a bee-friendly habitat in your yard". Last year, Cheerios launched the #Bringbackthebees campaign, and they distributed seeds to Canadians of all ages. Image credit: General Mills."I am very pleased to lend my voice to this year's campaign to explain to children how important it is to make a significant difference by planting wildflowers outside their homes".

The popular cereal brand Cheerio's has removed its mascot "Buzz the Bee" from boxes in the hope that it will raise awareness for endangered species. Also, they put the message #Bringbackthebees on every package.

Twitter applauded Cheerios' move to help save the bees.

Critics have pointed out that some of the wildflowers included in the "Bring Back the Bees" mix are potentially invasive and could cause damage to some local ecosystems. It also said the seeds "are not considered invasive" but didn't give further details. 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.

An emerging issue appears to be the presence of the varroa mite, which is a ferocious parasite that can tear through honey bee colonies.

In a statement, said the flower varieties "were selected for their flowers which produce nectar and pollen that are attractive to bees and other pollinators".

Scientists estimate that in the United States, we lost 44 per cent of our honey bee colonies from April 2015 to April 2016.

  • Julie Sanders