Cheerios had its heart in the right place. It wanted to help save America’s imperiled bee populations because, after all, the animated “pitchman” for its Honey Nut variety is a honeybee.
But like every tasty toasted oat in every Cheerios box, the rescue plan had a hole.
Cheerios, owned by General Mills, stuck 1.5 billion packaged wildflower seeds in boxes so that patrons could plant them. It was part of the company’s Bring Back the Bees campaign, complete with its own hashtag, which sought to create habitat that bees are losing to development, farms and insecticides.
But some of the seeds on the list are invasive species that kill native plants and take over the places where they grow. Kathryn G. Turner sounded an alarm when the free-seed giveaway came to her attention on Twitter.