Cheerios Says, “Goodbye Buzz!” While Bees Try to Stay Ahive.

Staff Writer: Olivia E. Bernal

As of March 2017, Buzz the Bee has flown away from Cheerio boxes, and is possibly dead. Only an eerie white outline remains of the popular cereal icon.

“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,” states the Cheerios website.

buzzkill

A dead bee positioned dramatically.

Bees of all stripes, are dropping like flies and –in the case of honeybees- leaving the hive.

Pesticides, malnutrition (especially commercial bees), and habitat loss are all easy and common culprits of the recession. There is also climate change, disease, and other unique factors playing a role in rising deaths- for example, Colony Collapse Disorder and lurking varroa mites.

Domesticated honey bees- responsible for 1 in 3 bites of your food- have dwindled by 50% in the last 50 years, according to scientists.

As another buzzkill, our nation’s beekeepers lost 44% of their bee colonies in 2016.

It is only by the sheer multitude of bees that we have not been so vastly affected on an emergency level.

Certain bee species are –or becoming- endangered. Hawaii’s native bees are listed as endangered, all seven species of their yellow-faced bees.

However, the continental United States does not have any native bees on the Endangered Species List-  well, until March 21, 2017.

On Tuesday, March 21, 2017, the Rusty Patched Bumblebee (Bombus affinus) officially became an endangered species.

It’s a first for the country, but not a good one. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) estimates that Rusty Patched Bumblebee populations have declined by 95%.

It is a significant amount considering the species had thrived in 31 eastern and mid-eastern states as well as Southern Canada. Rusty Patched Bumblebees now dwindle in 12 states and the Ontario province.

“There are a few little spots where we know where they are,” said James Strange, a research entomologist and bumble bee ecologist of the USDA.

“But only a really few spots.”

In response to bees declining, Cheerios is striving to get their point across, even starting the spreading hashtag, #BringBackTheBees and pledging to create more bee-friendly habitats.

buzz

Buzz the Honey-Nut Cheerios mascot.

“By the end of 2020, 60,000 acres of oat farms will host about 3,300 acres of habitats full of blooming, nectar- and pollen- rich wildflowers full of the nutrients bees and other pollinators need to stay strong,” promised Cheerios.

An effort to help bees of all stripes, Cheerios gave away a mix of wild flower seeds to anyone who requested the seeds on the cereal’s  website. Their goal of 100 million seeds was destroyed by their end total of 1.5 billion seeds given away.

“We’re thrilled by the unBEElievable support to #bringbackthebees! Let’s continue to create a bee-friendlier world!”

Comments

  1. Amber Alexander says:

    SAVE THE BEES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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