General Mills came up with an interesting idea to bolster the dwindling population of bees in North America. They decided to deliver seeds for bee-friendly plants to anyone who wanted them, free of charge. By last Friday, the company had given away 1.5 billion of these seeds.
Now it appears that their “Save the Bees” campaign has backfired. It turns out there’s a serious problem with some of the seeds that they are haphazardly delivering to locations all over the US. Lifehacker.com reports that many of these seeds are invasive in certain parts of the country. And best case scenario, many of these seeds won’t have any positive effect on bee populations.
Forget-me-not is banned as a noxious weed in Massachusetts and Connecticut, for example. The California poppy is nice in California, but listed as an “invasive exotic pest plant” in southeastern states. And many of the flowers on this list are not native to anywhere in the US, so they are not necessarily good matches for our local bees.
General Mills has since criticized the claims published by Lifehacker. The company doesn’t think that the seeds are invasive, or present any other problems. “General Mills worked with Veseys Seeds and their experts on this program…It has been field-tested and is known to attract honey bees, bumble bees, and other native bees such as mining bees, leaf cutter bees, sweet bees and long-horned bees.”