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Where Is Buzz the Bee? Why Cheerios' Beloved Bee Mascot Dissappeared From the Cereal Box

Mar 20, 2017 10:48 AM EDT

Cheerios' beloved mascot, Buzz the Bee, has disappeared from the boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios to serve as a stark reminder that the world's bee population is gradually nearing its end.

"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," posted Cheerios.

The removal of Buzz the Bee from its cereal package also promotes Cheerios' call-to-action. The company teamed up with Veseys Seed to send out 100 million wildflower seeds. Cheerios is encouraging people to plant the seeds to help the bees restore their normal population.

"The fruits and vegetables that form the basis of a good diet are at risk if we do not maintain healthy and stable bee populations," said Marla Spivak, a professor of entomology at the University of Minnesota and a bee specialist, in a statement. "Planting wildflowers is a simple but extremely important way for Canadians to help preserve and develop the natural habitat that bees need to survive."

Bees play a crucial role in our food supply. Over two-thirds of the world crop species rely on bees and other pollinators. Furthermore, one in three bites of food that humans eat is made possible by bees and other pollinators. Despite their grave importance as key pollinators of crops, the global bee population experienced a sharp decline in the past few years.

In 2016, about 44 percent of bee colonies in the U.S. have collapsed. The collapse of bee colonies was attributed to many factors, including habitat loss, diseases, pesticides and climate change.

This is not the first time Cheerios launched such initiative to save the bee population. Last year, Cheerios' goal of distributing and planting 100 million wildflower seeds was greatly surpassed, reaching 1.5 billion seeds. The company has also announced that 3,300 acres of nectar- and pollen-rich wildflowers will be available in their oat farms by 2020.

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