How families can help bees thrive

The Honey Nut Cheerios campaign aims to inspire Canadians to help bring back bees by planting sunflower seeds

How families can help bees thrive

Photo credit: Getty Images

In an effort to support Canada’s bee population, Honey Nut Cheerios is once again offering Canadians free flower seeds as part of its campaign www.bringbackthebees.ca.

Since 2016, Honey Nut Cheerios has distributed almost 2.5 million packets of seeds across the country, but despite the success of the campaign, bees still need our help.

According to General Mills Canada, makers of Honey Nut Cheerios, bee populations have been declining at an alarming rate. 1 in 3 bites of food we eat — which includes apples, almonds, coffee, and of course, honey — is made possible by bees and other pollinators. According to the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s (CWF) website, indigenous North American bee species “face a number of threats, mostly as a result of human activities, including intensive agriculture, urbanization, overgrazing, pesticide and herbicide use, destruction of riparian corridors, and habitat destruction and fragmentation.” The CWF adds that globally, 90 per cent of flowering plants are dependent entirely or in part on animal pollination, and some estimates note that 40 per cent of pollinators — particularly bees and butterflies — are facing extinction.

Bring Back the Bees

The Honey Nut Cheerios campaign aims to inspire Canadians to join the mission of bringing back the bees. This year’s free seed packets contain sunflower seeds — a type of wildflower — that will help preserve and grow the natural habitat bees need for survival. For the past four years, Honey Nut Cheerios has partnered with Vesey’s Seeds of PEI, Canada’s largest mail-order gardening business.

Vesey’s tips for growing strong and happy sunflowers include choosing a sunny location to plant your seeds (whose flowers will face east when they bloom); planting seeds 1″ in the ground, and 18″-24″ apart; and keeping the soil moderately moist until germination (10-14 days).

For a period of time this spring, Honey Nut Cheerios removed its mascot, Buzz the Bee, from its cereal packages to symbolize a world without these important insects.

Photo credit: General Mills Canada

Order your free seeds

Visit BringBacktheBees.ca  for details on how to order your free seeds. No purchase is necessary and there is a limit of up to four seed packets per person/household. The offer is valid until August 31, 2021, or while quantities last.

Cheerios is also sharing family-friendly spring activities and videos about bees on their Instagram page. Visit @cheeriosca on Instagram to see how to make an Air Bee & Bee, create your own Mason Jar Planter, or learn How do Bees See?

About General Mills Canada Corporation

Established in 1954, General Mills Canada Corporation is based in Mississauga, Ontario. The corporation is a proud and long-time supporter of Team Canada, Concerned Children’s Advertisers and United Way.