McDonald’s helps to save declining bee population by putting ‘hotels’ in their billboards

Bees serve an important role in our ecosystem, and they pollinate many of our food crops. But sadly, bee populations are on the decline.

Greenpeace calls it a “mysterious and sudden disappearance of bees” with “unusually high rates of decline in honeybee colonies” reported since the late 1990s.

It’s important to do everything we can do reverse the population decline and work to save these important creatures. Now, McDonald’s has implemented a clever way to help the bees bounce back.

(above photo by Jared Belson)

McDonald’s Sweden has been on a mission to help the bees in clever ways. In May, they made headlines for opening the “world’s smallest McDonald’s” that’s actually a beehive (with “room for thousands of important guests.”)

But their latest project takes things a step further, turning not only their restaurants but their advertisements into bee havens. And this time, they’re aiming to help out wild bees.

As they point out in their video, a third of all the food we eat would be threatened without bee’s pollination, and 30% of Sweden’s wild bee population is threatened.

The solution: turning McDonald’s billboards into “bee hotels.”


“A big problem is that [bees] lack places to rest,” a press release states. “Therefore, some of McDonald’s restaurants have replaced their regular billboards with signs that double as bee hotels.”

The wooden billboards have holes drilled in them for the bees to stay in. Franchisees can order a billboard with a saying of their choice. The first billboard reads “Alltid öppet,” Swedish for “Always open,” referring to both the 24/7 hours of both the restaurants and the bee hotels.


In addition, the company has partnered with outdoor advertising company JC Decaux to build even more bee hotels in unused billboards.

Six beehives have been installed in the back of a billboard in Järfälla, a suburb outside Stockholm.


“The survival of bees is an important issue for society as a whole,” said Henrik Nerell, environmental manager at McDonald’s in Sweden. “That we can use our signs for a good cause feels great.”

“We are proud and excited to welcome our flying guests soon as they move into our bee hotels.”

What a clever way for a company to help the environment through saving the bees! Share this story!