[By Joel McCarthy]

There’s a lot of positive buzz happening with Cheerios lately.

You might have noticed that Buzz, the loveable Cheerios mascot, has been mysteriously vacant from cereal boxes. The reason for this has to do with a very serious issue involving the alarming rate at which honeybees are dying around the world.

According to scientists like Jeremy Kerr of The University of Ottawa, mortality rates among honeybees will have dire effects on our environment.

“They are in serious and immediate risk from human-caused climate change,” said Kerr in an article from Mother Jones from 2015. “The impacts are large and they are underway.”

Statistically, things are looking pretty bleak for the honeybee, but that hasn’t stopped General Mills from trying to help our pollinating friends. Cheerio’s #BringBackTheBees campaign has returned for 2017 to help fight the good fight. And what’s their weapon of choice? Wildflower seeds, of course.

General Mills has been encouraging Canadians everywhere to plant wildflowers since honeybees thrive on the pollen and nectar that they provide. The company is providing over 100 million free seeds as part of this year’s campaign which can be found in select grocery stores across Canada. Their website also offers enlightening bee statistics and helpful planting tips for those of us with less experience around the garden bed.

This year’s campaign has also brought kids into the conversation. Beginning in mid-March, a month-long partnership with children’s network YTV will provide young audiences with fun, informative bee-related segments designed to educate and encourage younger audiences to participate.

Emma Erickson, VP of marketing at General Mills Canada considers the partnership with YTV to be a helpful addition to this year’s campaign. She says:

“We’ve found that the more you know about a cause, the more you care… I think education goes a long way to getting the kids involved.”

The #BringBackTheBees campaign has all of the elements of a PR hit. It’s engaging, informative, brand-appropriate, and best of all, it’s for an important cause. With any luck, they’ll surpass last year’s success, and this will be a campaign that reaps (and sows) benefits for years to come.

Follow @Cheerios on Twitter to see how you can help build more buzz for this fantastic cause.

(Illustration by Joel McCarthy)