The bees' needs: McDonald's unveils "McHive," flogs it for charity
To raise awareness of the plight of bees – and, no doubt, to nab some positive PR buzz and shift a few more Big Macs – McDonald's in Sweden has created what it calls "the world's smallest McDonald's." But there's a twist, would you bee-lieve it – it's not a McDonald's. It's a beehive.
The so-called McHive was built by set designer Nicklas Nilsson for the Nord division of the marketing group DDB. The work shows great attention to detail, including drive-through windows, outdoor seating and functional entrances that bees use to enter the hive.
The McHive was auctioned off, raising some US$10,000 for charity.
Do you want honey with that?
This may be a publicity stunt, but it seems to have spun out of genuine efforts to help bees by Christina Richter, who runs a number of McDonald's restaurants in the south of Sweden.
After a successful trial placing a hive on the roof of the McDonald's in Stattena, ably assisted by Duvestubbe apiary, three more restaurants are now to get rooftop hives – each home to 20,000 bees. McDonald's isn't restricting its efforts to hives – the restaurants are also replacing grass with more bee-friendly planting – which is, quite simply, a good thing to do.
The decline of bees, other pollinators and insects more generally is a well-documented phenomenon. Contributing causes are numerous, and are thought to include pesticide use, disease, pollution, loss of habitat, monocultural agriculture, and competition from invasive species.
As recently as February, New Atlas reported on how selectively breeding honey bees could help tackle colony collapse disorder.
Though the McHive is clearly a publicity stunt, it doesn't undermine the small but important efforts of some of the franchises in Sweden to offer a better deal for bees.
You can see a McDonald's promo video about the McHive below.