For centuries, mankind recognized bees as either a painful nuisance or a pleasant springtime visitor, but since the invention of science it’s become abundantly clear that bees are actually an important player in the wonderful dance that is our global ecosystem. As it turns out, pollination from bees is crucial to a significant chunk of the world’s food supply, but due to the spread of parasites and just general human bullshit, bee colonies all over the world are collapsing. To draw attention to this fact, Cheerios has decided to show the world what life would be like without history’s most famous bee: Buzz, the Honey Nut Cheerios mascot. (No offense, Barry Bee Benson.)
As reported by CNN, Buzz has been removed from boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios in order to raise awareness of the world’s disappearing bee populations, and General Mills is sending free packets of wildflower seeds to concerned Cheerios fans so they can help plant new, bee-friendly habitats. The company is also building new bee habitats on its own, since you can’t really trust Cheerios fans to save the world, and you can find more information about this Bring Back The Bees campaign at this link.
Of course, this is the internet, and no matter how noble someone’s intentions may be, there will always be people pointing out when something isn’t quite as good as it seems. This time, Lifehacker is spoiling the fun by explaining that some of the seeds Cheerios is giving away should not be planted in certain areas. Some of the plants are invasive and could harm environments they’re not native to, some could spread diseases, and some might not actually help American bees at all. The Lifehacker story makes an effort to point out that the Cheerios campaign is largely positive, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to do some research before you start spreading your free Cheerios seeds outside.
[Note: Lifehacker, like The A.V. Club, is owned by Univision Communications.]