Why you should not plant the free wildflower seeds Cheerios wants to give you
Have you heard about the latest effort put forth by Cheerios? Their intentions are honestly fantastic and we applaud their decision to help raise awareness regarding our very concerning bee situation… but their method of trying to help may have the exact opposite affect.
Cheerios has an active campaign stating they will send packets of various wildflower seeds to people all over the country. Sounds great right? It did until you start to examine what they’re sending and where it could end up.
Perhaps I don’t have all the facts, but my understanding is once you’ve sent in for a free sample you are likely to receive any of the following:
Forget-Me-Not, Wallflower, Poppy, Coneflower, Aster, Flax, Baby Blue, Gilia, Indian Blanket, Tidy-tips, and several others. Here’s the problem, if you’re not paying attention you could end up planting something in your region that may not belong there, and may not be welcome.
Forget-Me-Nots, for example, are a banned noxious weed in MA and CT. The California Poppy may be awesome for CA, but move to the southeastern states and you you’ve got an invasive exotic pest plant. The fact that most of these wildflowers aren’t even native to the United States- poses a question of- will it actually have a positive impact on bees in the first place? Who were the people who put this list of flowers together? Did they consider the fact that it could have the exact opposite effect?!
Not all out-of-region plants are ‘Bad’ but…
When a plant is introduced to an area that is outside of its native range, it doesn’t make them a ‘bad plant’ – but it can use up resources the native plants rely on in that region. Disease can spread, and cause physical changes to the areas – creating big problems.
Don’t get me wrong, the effort put forth by Cheerios is a good idea and is conceptually sound but it’s half-assed. Unless there is a team behind the curtain that will be sending certain seeds to certain areas- we need to be careful. We are in this bee dilemma because us humans have been extremely careless with the way we do things. If this endeavor isn’t performed with the utmost care, we could find that we’re doing much more harm than good. My understanding is you’ll receive one packet with seeds of all these flowers. Ahhhhh!
Cheerios is relying on the individual to do their own research- which isn’t impossible but it is highly unlikely. They hear the word free, and the phrase “save the bees” and they think they’re doing something good. It’s half true. Let’s hope we can all pay a little more attention before planting something that may not be long here. While you’re at it, DO look up wildflowers that are native to your home and plant some. Take the spirit of Cheerios idea into your own hands and help create a better world for our bees 🙂
More from Bee Thoughtful to come!
In the meantime, try our delicious honey and help us educate the community on rare breed preservation and environmental conservation!