Local beekeeper talks declining bee population and campaign to save them

Local beekeeper talks declining bee population and campaign to save them

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The 'spokes-bee' on the Honey Nut Cheerios box has disappeared.

It's all part of cereal company General Mills' campaign to talk about real-life bees that are disappearing.

David Veith, Toledo-area beekeeper, says bees are so important to produce, from pumpkins to blueberries.

"It's real simple; they pollinate probably about a third of our crops, if not more," said Veith, who is also the vice president of the Maumee Valley Beekeepers Association.

Veith says mites, chemicals and loss of habitat have contributed to a decline in the bee population.

"It takes the willows and it takes the dandelions, and it takes the white clovers that all the things that - the people that want the golf-course yards are the ones that hurt us the most, as far as the local residents," said Veith.

Veith says his honey production in Toledo pales in comparison to honey production in other areas.

"I can easily produce 150 pounds in an out-yard, where I have troubles making 75 pounds in the city. And it's partly all nectar source," said Veith.

According to General Mills, the cereal company is pulling Buzz from the box to encourage people to help #bringbackthebees.

The company was giving out free seeds, starting with a goal of 100 million seeds. According to the website, after giving out 1.5 billion seeds, they're all out and not giving out anymore.

Removing Buzz from the cereal box has certainly created a buzz.

"Awareness is always the big thing. If you're not aware of a problem, you can't fix the problem, and so I think that's just important as anything else," said Veith.

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