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The Honey Nut Cheerios bee has disappeared – just like a lot of other pollinators

Pollinators are dying off, and General Mills wants people to know they can help save the bees.

Next time you buy a box of Honey Nut Cheerios, you might notice something missing: the cereal's iconic BuzzBee.

This spring, he won't be on the box. Instead, there will just be a blank, white space where BuzzBee usually stands.

There's a reason behind this. Bees are disappearing in the real world, too.

"Pollinators are critical to our environment. More than two thirds of the crops used to feed people, accounting for 90 percent of the world's nutrition, are pollinated by bees," General Mills said in a statement.

However, pollinators everywhere have been disappearing by the millions. The honeybee population has been on the decline for a while. And in 2015, 42 percent of bee colonies in the U.S. collapsed.

So General Mills has made a commitment to help the insects. After all, there would be no Honey Nut Cheerios if it weren't for honeybees.

While you won't find BuzzBee on the cereal, you will find something else: free seeds.

Just go online, fill out a short form, and General Mills will send you a free pack of wildflower seeds to plant. It's to help build habitats for the bees.

Meanwhile, they're working on building up habitats, too. By 2020, the company says it's oat farms will host about 3,300 acres of wildflowers that are full of nutrients for bees and other pollinators.

How you can help

First of all, you can plant General Mills' wildflower seeds.

Otherwise, planting flowers that are native to the area helps. Wildlife professionals recommend using a variety of flowering plants so that something is blooming spring through fall. You can read more about how to attract pollinators to your garden here and here.

Also avoid using pesticides. If you do use them, follow label instructions carefully to make sure you're not causing any unnecessary damage.

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