It’s no secret that the bee population is in decline. As the harmful effects of certain pesticides are becoming more and more known in the mainstream, people and companies are starting to pay attention. General Mills Canada announced that they will be removing “Buzz,” the bee mascot we’ve come to love, from the front of the Honey Nut Cheerios box in order to raise awareness of unstable bee populations and how this could affect the environment.
In launching the #BringBackTheBees campaign, General Mills Canada is leveraging one of their most popular brands as an ambassador for a very real problem. Bees have impact beyond producing honey, and in launching this initiative, GM Canada is playing a big hand that could promise pretty pay offs: Customers are urged to visit a website to request a packet of free wildflower seeds that they are to plant with the goal of reaching 35 million wildflowers. “The goal of planting 35 million wildflowers will go a long way toward helping provide the natural habitat and food supply that is essential for healthy, sustainable bee colonies,” says Marla Spivak, an entomologist at the U of Minnesota. Currently, the total stands at 47.5 million seeds, and they plan to keep sending the packets out through the end of the campaign.
Regardless of if every seed gets planted as requested, it is heartening to see a major company take a stand on an issue that should be important to all of us. Even if the end of the campaign doesn’t see 35 million more wildflowers on Canadian terrain, more people are aware of a problem they may have never paid a thought to. And maybe some of them, no matter the number, have gone on to learn more. Though a declining bee population may not seem of much importance to some people, the door is open for more and more companies to take on positions that could have big implications for the greater world around them.