Honey Nut Cheerios Bee Released General Mills CC vojta001

The company that’s been using an animated bee to sell its cereal for years is spending some of its profits on protecting actual bees in the field.

Honey Nut Cheerios has cut a deal with farmers in their supply chain to set aside 3,300 acres of land to become natural habitat for bees and other pollinators in the United States.

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A statement from parent company General Mills says the land is “the equivalent acreage of about 3,000 football fields” and full of essential food sources and homes for North American bees.

The habitats, to be planted with wildflowers and milkweed, will be a patchwork across 60,000 acres that are used each year to grow the oats for Honey Nut Cheerios. General Mills is working with the Xerces Society and the University of Minnesota to have it all in place by 2020.

“We have a big goal to try and achieve — 3,300 acres that’s a lot of pollinator habitat that has to get planted in the next several years.” Tom Rabaey, Principal Agronomist for General Mills said. “I think everybody can agree that by planting more habitat we’re gonna do a lot of good.”

Bees are necessary pollinators for about 90% of the food produced around the world. A decline in the bee population, which is linked to loss of habitat, pesticides, disease, and other factors, has concerned farmers and environmentalists for years.

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In a twist, oats are one of the crops that is not pollinated by bees, but 30% of General Mills’ other products do rely on them, and Honey Nut Cheerios has relied on the happy, busy bee mascot to promote its brand. The company decided it was time to give back. Share The Buzz With Your Friends… (Photo by vojta001, CC)

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