It’s hard to pay attention to the small details when you’re groggily having your cereal in the morning — but if you look closely tomorrow morning, you’ll see that the bee is missing on the Honey Nut Cheerios box. In its place is a white outline where Buzz the Bee used to be. And it’s for an important (and sad) reason. Cheerios is raising awareness to the fact that bees and pollinators are endangered.
You’ve likely heard this unsettling development before — when bees were added to the endangered species list last year — but removing Buzz is a great way to spread the word to a wider audience (like children, since they’re the future and all).
Although bees were put on the endangered species just last October, they’ve been in trouble for a few years. And while some of us shudder at the thought of a fuzzy bee coming anywhere near us, they’re part of a super intricate ecosystem that directly impacts the food system, so we need those little guys. As pollinators, crops depend on them, too. General Mills, the producer of Cheerios, is directly impacted by this.
According to their website, about 30 percent of their ingredients are dependent on pollination, and in effect, bees. Susanne Prucha, director of marketing for Cheerios, wrote in a statement: