Honey Nut Cheerios Hopes to Plant Another 100 Million Wildflowers in the Second Year of its "Bring Back The Bees" Campaign

TORONTO, March 9, 2017 /CNW/ - Building on the tremendous success of the inaugural Bring Back The Bees campaign, Honey Nut Cheerios is calling on Canadians to help plant another 100 million wildflowers across the country this year to help restore natural habitat for bees.

"Last year we gave away more than three times our original target, putting more than 100 million wildflower seeds into the hands of Canadians of all ages. This year, we're hoping Canadians will help us plant another 100 million new wildflowers across Canada to help bring back the bees," said Emma Eriksson, Vice President, Marketing for General Mills Canada, makers of Honey Nut Cheerios.

Even with the success of last year's wildflower planting efforts, bee populations across North America remain unstable and there's more to be done. And without healthy, vibrant bee colonies, one out of every three bites of food is in danger of disappearing. Food crops from fruits to nuts to coffee rely on the pollinating assistance bees provide as they go about their work.

"The fruits and vegetables we all depend upon for good nutrition are in jeopardy if we don't maintain healthy, stable bee populations," said renowned bee expert Marla Spivak, professor of Entomology at the University of Minnesota. "Planting wildflowers is a simple but tremendously important way in which Canadians can help preserve and grow the natural habitat bees need for survival."

The Ontario government has expressed its support of bringbackthebees.ca, acknowledging the beneficial effects of the wildflower planting initiative in Ontario's Pollinator Health Action Plan.

"Ontario is committed to protecting pollinators. We have made strides in protecting these vital species, including honey bees, but we all have more to do. General Mills is bringing awareness to this issue and encouraging simple actions such as planting pollinator-friendly habitats, which can do a lot to help support pollinator populations," said Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.

FREE WILDFLOWER SEEDS AVAILABLE

Once again, Canadians can get their wildflower seeds free of charge through www.bringbackthebees.ca. To help promote the call to action, Honey Nut Cheerios has once again removed its beloved mascot, Buzz the Bee, from its cereal packages for a limited time.

A special focus is also being placed on kids in this year's Bring Back The Bees campaign. "Last year, kids wanted to help so much that they wrote letters, made videos, and some even sent in their piggy bank savings hoping it would help the bees," said 14-year-old eco-activist and Bring Back The Bees Youth Ambassador, Hannah Alper. "I'm excited to lend my voice to this year's campaign and help tell kids how easy it is to make a big difference by planting wildflowers outside their homes. We're really hoping that if the next generation of Canadians grow up caring about and helping the bees, it will make all the difference."

LIFE AFTER THE BEES HAVE GONE

To amplify the call for Canadians to plant wildflowers and help Bring Back The Bees, General Mills and Honey Nut Cheerios will be opening an experiential pop-up activation in downtown Toronto. It will offer consumers a glimpse at the grocery store of the future in a world where we fail to act - where we fail to support the robust return of our bee population, and the irreplaceable role they play in providing our farmers and our families with the food upon which we all rely.

On March 11 and 12th, consumers are invited to walk through the 'store of the future' and experience a stark contrast between two very different futures: one without a healthy bee population, and one celebrating what's possible if we join in the effort to Bring Back The Bees.

About General Mills Canada Corporation
Established in 1954, General Mills Canada Corporation is based in Mississauga, Ontario.  The company is dedicated to serving the world by making food people love. Its most popular products include Cheerios* and Honey Nut Cheerios* cereals, Nature Valley* snacks, Yoplait® and Liberte* dairy products, and Old El Paso* Mexican products.

General Mills is a proud and long-time supporter of the Canadian Olympic team, Hockey Canada, Concerned Children's Advertisers and United Way.

*Trademarks of General Mills or its affiliates
® Trademarks of YOPLAIT MARQUES S.N.C. (France) used under license. 

SOURCE General Mills Canada

For further information: Katie MacKay, Veritas Communications, kmackay@veritasinc.com / 416.955.4571; Mike Siemienas, General Mills, Media.line@genmills.com / 763-764-6364

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