Honey Nut Cheerios Bee Goes Missing To Highlight Vanishing Bee Colonies

Image courtesy of General Mills

If you were to go down your cereal aisle and see all the cartoon bees on the boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios replaced with white voids 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.

Vanishing bee colonies, and the subsequent effect on pollination, isn’t just an ecological matter. Bees — not just the cartoon ones — are vital for General Mills’ business. The company says 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.