Critics say Cheerios' bee-saving campaign could hurt some ecosystems


Bees are dying globally at an alarming rate, and last week, Cheerios figured it would step in and help.

In a stark reminder that the world's population of bees is plummeting, Cheerios pulled its mascot, Buzz the Bee off the box of Honey Nut Cheerios.

However, not everyone appears to be on the same page with the cereal brand, with ecologist Kathryn Turner telling Lifehacker that several of the seed types are not native to the U.S. and that they may not even be helpful for bees. 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.

On the Cheerio's website, the company lists a number of ways that we can curb the bees endangerment, by encouraging people to plant with their free seeds, and establishing bee habitats around the nation. This year we hope that Canadians will help us plant 100 million new wildflowers across Canada to help bring the bees back, "said Emma Eriksson, Vice President of Marketing for General Mills Canada, the manufacturer Cheerios with honey and walnuts". This isn't a new phenomenon and environmentalists, bee activists, scientists, farmers and others have been trying for years to figure out why.

Bees play a critical role in our food supply.

Disappearing bee population could pose problems for General Mills as 30% of the company's products rely on pollination.

The maker of Cheerios is facing some controversy over its "Bring Back the Bees" campaign.

Buzz the Bee is now just a silhouette.

BuzzBee isn't in danger as he's a honey bee, but other lesser known types of bees and other pollinators are.

"I'm happy that they're promoting bees; that they're promoting pollinators; if it benefits them, that's fine with me; it's getting the word out there; people are talking about it; they're handing out seeds".