Without pollination from bees, one third of the food we eat would be threatened. The fact that some of McDonald's franchises in Sweden have beehives on their restaurant roof tops to promote biodiversity has attracted worldwide attention. Now the initiative is being extended to include wild bees. It is estimated that 30% of Sweden's wild bees are threatened.
A big problem is that they lack places to rest. Therefore, some of McDonald's restaurants have replaced their regular billboards with signs that double as bee hotels. The boards are permanent wood installations with drilled holes in the copy (“Always open") where wild bees and other insects can make themselves comfortable. All McDonald's franchisees have the opportunity to order their own bee hotel boards and customize the messaging.
At the same time, McDonald's has started a collaboration with JC Decaux to create habitats for wild bees on the back of billboards that would otherwise not be utilized. Bees are most comfortable if their nests are in a south facing position. The first test is now live in Järfälla outside Stockholm, where six large bee hotels have been mounted on the backside of a north facing billboard with hopes of scaling up the initiative in spring 2020.
The survival of bees is an important issue for society as a whole. That we can use our signs for a good cause feels great. The initiative, which has sprung from our franchisees' personal commitment to the issue, has been made possible in collaboration with JCDecaux and we are proud and excited to welcome our flying guests soon as they move into our bee hotels, says Henrik Nerell, environmental manager at McDonald's in Sweden.
Creative agency: NORD DDB
Media agency: OMD