“1/3 of the food we eat is made possible by bees.”
Sadly, bee populations continue to decline around the world due to habitat loss, lack of forage and pesticides. Over the past decade, bee populations have dropped over 40%. We need to protect the world’s most important pollinators of food crops.
McDonald’s in Sweden has once again stepped up for the bees. They redesigned their billboards to feature bee “hotels” on the back. The design was created with bees in mind. Bees prefer hives that face south or southeast, so the bee hotels were placed on the back of north-facing billboards.
The first billboard was installed 20 minutes from downtown Stockholm. On the north-facing side the billboard read, “Always open”, with tiny holes drilled into all of the letters. The tiny holes provide access to the homes for “thousands of wild guests”. A total of six large wooden bee hotels were fastened into the south-facing side of the billboard.
A video released on McDonald’s Sweden YouTube Chanel stated, “It is estimated that 30% of Sweden’s wild bees are threatened. A big problem is that they lack places to live. Therefore, some of McDonald’s restaurants have started producing billboards that double as bee hotels.”
This is not the first time McDonald’s in Sweden has made a home for bees. They created the smallest replica of a McDonald’s restaurant that was actually a bee hive, known as McHive. Many locations in the country have planted flowers and installed bee hives on the roofs of their restaurants. This is just another way to help preserve the vital insects.
According to McDonald’s, “All McDonald’s franchisees have the opportunity to order their own bee hotel boards and customize the messaging. McDonald’s has also started a collaboration with JC Decaux to create habitats for wild bees on the back of billboards that would otherwise not be utilized.”
Watch the video below to see how the innovative billboards are made. Hopefully, other countries will follow suit.
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.