By Peter Ciocca
General Mills has decided to take Honey Nut Cheerio’s mascot, Buzz the Bee, off their cereal boxes to help raise awareness about the decline of global bee population.
According to CNN, it is said that bees take part in a crucial role by pollinating 35 percent of the world’s food supply.
Cheerios launched the campaign called #BringBackTheBees to send 100 million free packets of wildflower seeds, reported CNN. The company encourages people to plant the seeds and post on social media sites of what springs from the ground.
“I don’t like bees but I do realize the importance of their existence to our society and their effects on agriculture and plant life. A decrease in bees will only hurt us as a civilization,” said senior Chris DiProfio.
According to sos-bees.org, there has been a 40 percent loss of the commercial honeybees in the United States since 2006.
Cheerios.com said that the #BringBackTheBee campaign has exceeded the goal of giving away 100 million seeds by 10, giving away 1.5 billion seeds total to save the bees.
“I believe this is a good way to get peoples attention and raise awareness due to the impact the Honey Nut Cheerios bee portrays and the familiarity of it,” said junior Mike Lotito. “By not having the bee on the box, people will notice, which is exactly what the campaign is for.”
According to sos-bees.org, bees are a huge part of our ecosystem and that humans need them to survive due to their means of producing honey, as well as being key to food production.
“I like the idea and thought behind General Mill’s plan but I just don’t think the campaign will be effective. Kids or adults will most likely not even notice the absence of the bee or even know the reasoning or situation that is going on,” said DiProfio.
The overall message of the campaign is to help raise the awareness about an issue that people might not be fully aware about.
“If people can associate the bee to the Honey Nut Cheerios box, it could potentially create a stronger effort to help out the population of bees to save the ecosystem,” said junior Steven Tartaglia.
The sos-bee.org website said the major factors that took part in the global decline of bees were due to industrial agriculture, parasites, and climate change.
“I personally dislike bees, so it wouldn’t be much of a problem to me. I know bees are essential to human nature and produce honey but personally, it doesn’t affect me,” said junior Anthony DiCicco.
According to the Cheerios website, 44 percent of the bee colonies in the U.S. collapsed in 2016 and 1 in 3 bites of the food we eat is made possible by bees, as well as other pollinators.
“There should be an increased effort to preserve the population of bees to the best of our ability for the well-being of the environment,” said Tartaglia. “It would be a good idea to continue to do the #BringBackTheBee campaign and take the bee off the box for the time being to raise awareness on the issue and gain notoriety.”