Next time you pick up a box of Honey Nut Cheerios at the grocery store, you might notice that a familiar face is missing from the packaging.
Honey Nut Cheerios, a beloved brand of cereal produced by General Mills, is known for using oats and real honey to make a simple and satisfying cereal.
However, because the company is so committed to using real ingredients, it’s impossible for them to ignore a looming problem for their product: the disappearance of the bees that make the honey.
Buzz, the quirky cartoon mascot, represents honeybees everywhere that work hard all day to make the delicious honey we humans enjoy.
Unfortunately, honeybees are more endangered today than ever.
Awareness is growing slowly; honeybees have new heroes every day, like little Mikaila who started creating a lemonade that donates profits to protecting our friends in the insect world.
Still Honey Nut Cheerios have an unusually large platform for helping to protect the bees, and they are putting it to good use!
Photo Credit: Facebook
For spring 2017, Honey Nut Cheerios took a stand for one of their closest product collaborators: the bees!
Honey Nut Cheerios are famous for using real honey in their signature cereal, so they have a very good reason for wanting to protect these vital winged creatures.
With that in mind, they decided to emphasize what a world without bees would look like, by removing their signature mascot Buzz from the cereal’s packaging.
General Mills first started making Honey Nut Cheerios back in 1979 as a slightly sweeter spin-off of the classic Cheerios.
Buzz was introduced as the mascot shortly thereafter and was named in 2005 when a fifth grader won a naming contest and dubbed him “BuzzBee.”
In the past couple of decades, Honey Nut Cheerios have grown more and more vocal about protecting the bees that Buzz represents.
Honeybees and other pollinators are dying out in record numbers right now.
According to the NY Times, beekeepers on average reported about 40% of their bees dying off in April of 2015.
It’s hard to pinpoint numbers because many honeybees are not kept in controlled colonies, but live out in the wild.
Regardless, it all appears to be part of an alarming decline in bee population, which may be tied to climate change and the widespread use of pesticides.
When any animal species is endangered, it’s important for us to worry.
However, in the case of bees, it might be more vital than ever to reverse the trend.
That’s because, though we don’t always realize it, humans depend on bees to survive. It’s not just about the honey, either.
Bees, birds, and other insects are responsible for pollinating many of the fruits, vegetables, and grains that we consume every day.
It’s worth noting that these plants also feed the animals that humans eat for meat.
In other words, the whole food chain relies on bees. Bees must continue to fly and help to pollinate plants.
So what does all of that mean for your favorite breakfast cereal?
Not only do Honey Nut Cheerios require honey to make their product, they also want to protect the whole planet by helping to save the bee population.
As they explain on their website, the logic is simple:
1 in 3 bites of food we eat is made possible by bees and other pollinators
42% of bee colonies in the U.S. collapsed in 2015
70 out of the top 100 human food crops are pollinated by bees
Their plan? Just as simple and powerful.
In addition to Buzz’s temporary disappearance, Honey Nut Cheerios is sponsoring a wildflower giveaway, pledging to give away 100 million wildflower seeds for free. You can request yours here.
They are also developing bee sanctuaries of their own on the oat farms from which they source ingredients.
These safe places will help encourage bees to continue pollinating the many, many crops that the animal kingdom relies on. The bees pollination will keep those plants producing.
If you want to”‘bee” part of the difference, this spring is your moment to help save the bees!
Remember to keep an eye out for honeybees and other pollinators. That category even includes less-pleasant creatures like wasps and hornets.
So, help encourage these bugs by growing wildflowers and creating bee-friendly habitats. If you see a swarm or hive out in the wild, don’t call an exterminator, call up a local beekeeper for relocation!
And if you want to help spread the word and bring back the bees, be sure to SHARE this powerful message!