Cheerios is trying to help save the bees, but some scientists claim the campaign is ignorant.
It's no secret that bees are on the decline. Their livelihood depends on the pollination of hundreds of plants, which humans, in turn, rely on.
Cheerios spokesperson Buzz the Bee has been notably absent from the cereal company's Honey Nut flavor marketing, all in an effort to increase awareness about the global peril of this keystone insect. They even coined the hashtag #BringBackTheBees.
Now, General Mills has turned to offering free Veseys seed packets to consumers in order for people to plant more wildflowers.
Residents of the U.S., Canada and the UK are able to partake in Cheerio's newest bee awareness campaign. Consumers are only required to fill out a form and four to six weeks later packets totaling 500 seeds should arrive on their doorstep. The intention is for humans to plant the seeds in an attempt to reverse the destruction we've caused that has, in turn, decimated the bee population.
General Mills reported that in one week, over 1.5 billion seeds had already been mailed. The company set a goal of spreading 100 million wildflowers across the land and have currently run out of seeds for shipping due to the unexpected high demand.
But some scientists are warning that the well-intentioned "Save the Bees" campaign could have catastrophic effects.
Thirty different wildflower seeds are contained within the packets, but some of these are considered a nuisance to certain regions throughout the eligible countries, even insofar as to have been banned in individual states.
Cheerios countered the reports by noting that none of the seeds are termed invasive. Additionally, they commented that each seed type is already available at stores throughout these countries.
Many are noting that Cheerios didn't go into the ad campaign blindly; they worked closely with botanical experts at Veseys to handpick appropriate plant species.
Climate change and habitat destruction are the leading causes of bee decline. The removal of a keystone species sends a devastating ripple effect to all other species who are directly and indirectly dependent. In other words, no more bees means an entire ecosystem can crumble.
While Cheerios and scientists sort out the ordeal, General Mills is making sure to address concerned citizens on the Cheerios Facebook page.
What do you think? Will planting the seeds do more harm than good? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
All photos via Cheerios/Facebook.
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