Don’t plant those “bee-friendly” wildflowers Cheerios is giving away


Bee populations are in decline, and Cheerios wants to help. So far, so good. But they are sending free packets of wildflower seeds to people all over the country—and some of the flowers included are invasive species that, in some areas, you should probably not plant.

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.

When I first heard about this giveaway on social media, I thought it was a good, cute way to help an “endangered population” of bees. But read the article. As mentioned above, the seed packets are not “one size fits all” and actually may be harmful to your particular area. The article does list several other, better ways you can help both honey and wild bees.