Jaime Evanoff, Staff Writer
Bumblebees have been placed on the endangered species list for the first time ever in the United States and General Mills is raising awareness by removing “Buzzbee” from the front of the Honey Nut Cheerios box.
Buzzbee is the popular mascot that has been featured in many commercials over the years. They are hoping the removal will create awareness and encourage consumers to plant seeds to create new habitats.
Honey Nut Cheerios has committed to providing enough seeds to help Americans plant 200 million wildflowers to regrow habitats. Bees have suffered a dramatic decline in population due to habitat loss and degradation, along with pathogens and pesticides.
Since the campaign started March 9 the response has been overwhelming. Honey Nut Cheerios surpassed their original goal and has now sent more than 1.5 billion seeds to people who requested wildflower seeds through the website.
“I’m glad that they removed Buzzbee from the front of the box,” junior Jenessa McCabe said. “Appealing to the younger generation is a good way to bring awareness to something.”
Honey Nut Cheerios is no longer sending seeds out, however, they are encouraging consumers to buy wildflower seeds at their local store and continue the efforts to regrow habitats. To help showcase efforts, Honey Nut Cheerios is encouraging participants to share their garden’s progress on social media by using #Bringbackthebees.
Students across UC campus seem to be unaware of the General Mills campaign but want to get involved through education. Student organizations are able to host forums on campus and there are also opportunities to volunteer on bee farms locally.
“We should be putting more information out to the public about bees,” freshman Xaviar Phillips said. “I did not know that bees were such a big deal to our ecosystem and now that I do, I want to help.”
Honeybees are responsible for pollinating 75 percent of food crops and the decline in population raises serious concerns about the future of the global food supply. A third of food around the world would disappear without honeybees, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Some of the crops that need to be pollinated include fruit, seeds, vegetables, oils and nuts. This would cause trouble for General Mills and the rest of the world.
Anyone that wants to help #Bringbackthebees is encouraged to stop using pesticides and plant a garden at home.