If you start your morning's with Honey-Nut Cheerios, you might have noticed that mascot "Buzz" the bee is missing from cereal boxes. That's because bee populations have been declining over the past few years.
Cheerios pledges to give away 100 million wildflower seeds to help boost global bee populations. You'll get your wildflower seeds in four to six weeks.
The Cheerios website says: "Buzz is missing because there's something serious going on with the world's bees. Bee populations everywhere have been declining at an alarming rate, and that includes honeybees like Buzz."
People can visit the website to learn more about the issue and to order their own free wildflower seed packets.
42 percent of U.S. bee colonies collapsed in 2015 and for the first time, a bee species, the rusty patched bumblebee, has been declared endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The population of the rusty patched bumblebee has shrunk by 87% since the late 1990s, the wildlife service said.
Bees are vital to ecosystems, they help pollinate 35% of the world’s food. A world without pollinators would be devastating for food production.
The decline in bee populations can be a result of multiple factors, mainly climate change, the loss of their habitat and the use of bee killing pesticides.
“The rusty patched bumblebee is among a group of pollinators, including the monarch butterfly, experiencing serious declines across the country,” Wildlife Service Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius said. “Why is this important? Pollinators are small but mighty parts of the natural mechanism that sustains us and our world. Without them … our crops require laborious, costly pollination by hand.”