Mar 15, 2016 • By

Where is BuzzBee?

A campaign by our Honey Nut Cheerios brand team in Canada is proving to be buzzworthy.

It has people asking why BuzzBee isn’t on the newest box for the cereal on Canadian store shelves.Honey-Nut-CheeriosThere’s a good reason.

Buzz’s departure is temporary. It’s part of the campaign – BringBackTheBees.ca – that aims to raise awareness of the deterioration of bee colony health around the world.

“As a marketer, when you look at what’s really driving liking to the brand, Buzz is right up there with the product and the honey,” says Emma Eriksson, director of marketing for General Mills Canada. “So, to take Buzz off the box was a bold–and a little bit scary–move. But it’s worth it to draw attention to the cause that bees are disappearing.” 

Canada’s Honey Nut Cheerios team will send wildflower seeds to Canadians interested in helping out. They’re giving away 35 million seeds!


Consumers who participate also will be entered to win one of five garden makeovers.

Emma says, “We wanted one simple action that all Canadians could get behind. We learned that bee nutrition is a fundamental issue and that getting people to plant wildflowers could have a huge impact. It’s an easy, tangible way they can help – and it can be a fun, family activity as well.”

One third of the foods we depend on for our survival are made possible by the natural pollination work that bees provide.

Marla Spivak, professor of Entomology at the University of Minnesota, supports the initiative in Canada.

“There are a range of threats to Canada’s bee population, but among the biggest are the elimination of flowering plants and ground cover in urban and rural areas alike,” says Dr. Spivak. “The goal of planting 35 million wildflowers will go a long way toward helping provide the natural habitat and food supply that is essential for healthy, sustainable bee colonies.”

In the winter of 2014, Ontario beekeepers lost 58% of the province’s honeybee population. After the winter of 2015, 16% of all Canadian bee colonies were lost, 38% in Ontario.

“We have a natural link with bees with our honey ingredient,” says Emma. “But the most important thing is that consumers care and it’s an important issue for all humans. And of course, we’re a company that’s passionate about food. It’s grander than just honey. It’s grander than just the bees. It’s about humans and our food supply.”

To learn more about the campaign visit BringBacktheBees.ca

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  • Meghna Lamore

    Is there a similar initiative in the U.S.? I’m a recently transplanted Canadian and would love to help out.

    • http://blog.generalmills.com Ashley Halladay

      Hi Meghna,

      There isn’t a Honey Nut Cheerios bee initiative in the U.S. right now, but Cascadian Farm is running a Bee Friendlier campaign. Learn more about the initiative, here: https://bee-friendlier.com/. Also, check out The Xerces Society for great resources on pollinator habitats: http://www.xerces.org/.

      Thank you for reading our blog!

      Ashley Halladay
      General Mills

      • Meghna Lamore

        Thanks so much for these links, and good luck!

  • Drew Browen

    Will there be a US campaign supporting this initiative? I’d love to contribute to the cause.

    • http://blog.generalmills.com Ashley Halladay

      Hi Drew,

      The Honey Nut Cheerios team in the U.S. isn’t currently running a “Bring Back the Bees” campaign, but Cascadian Farm has a “Bee Friendlier” initiative! Learn more about Cascadian Farm’s efforts, here: https://bee-friendlier.com/. The Xerces Society has some great resources if you’d like to get involved by supporting pollinator habitats. Check our their website, here: http://www.xerces.org/.

      Thank you for reaching out to learn more about the cause!

      Ashley Halladay
      General Mills

  • Norm

    I think the initiative is well intentioned, the advertisement is beautiful and the remake of “Broken Wings” is lovely. I do want to say that as a weed specialist the ad almost gave me a heart attack! Planting 35 million wildflowers is a fantastic goal, but can we make certain these are native wildflowers and not invasive plants please? I’d have to see the “daisy” used in the ad in real life to be positive, but I’m quite certain the plant shown is Scentless Chamomile, an extremely prolific and invasive noxious weed. If you don’t want the native plants to be displaced by these invasive introduced species, please be very certain of what you are buying and planting. “Wildflower” seed mixes often contain introduced invasive plants that may certainly provide bee fodder, but will displace native plants (like milkweed) which are used as food by other insects, like the Monarch butterfly. Planting weeds that spread into native areas and farm fields require expensive control efforts often using pesticides (specifically herbicides) to control them. Quite the opposite of what’s intended. As to whether bee numbers are actually dropping, that’s a different story all together – it’s widely reported as an issue, because bad news sells. But many of the apiculturists who know better would tell you bee numbers are actually improving.

  • Desiree

    Wow I love the initiative you’ve shown. Bing a big company I think that it is great that you being this to the attention of people because sometimes they not realize we are loosing animal, plants, etc all over the world. So Kudos to GENERAL MILLS!