The World’s Smallest McDonald’s Illustrates the Scale of a Declining Bee Population

McHive beehives will sit atop restaurants in Sweden

A tiny store doing a big job. McDonald's Sweden

The issue of bee population decline may be a cute cause célèbre in some corners, but it is a severe problem that demands consistent attention.

According to research, honeybees perform 80% of pollination and 70% of the top human food crops—which supply about 90% of the planet’s nutrition—are pollinated by bees. The pervasive use of pesticides and climate change are two factors in this devastating loss of the world’s ecosystem.

McDonald’s, with close to 38,000 locations in over 100 countries, certainly has an impact on global food supply and likely a vested interest in ensuring that bees can keep doing their work for this reason. To that end, Sweden’s franchisees are experimenting with beehives on top of some restaurants in the country.

Celebrating World Bee Day and part of the brand’s sustainability efforts in Sweden, McHive is precisely what you think it is: a beehive that is a diminutive replica of a McDonald’s store. Created in partnership with Nord DDB and touted as the “world’s smallest McDonald’s,” the tiny structure (including drive-thrus) contains enough space for thousands of bees to work their magic.

The idea of a fully-functioning beehive started with one store but has expanded to five in the country, and the hives, designed by award-winning set designer Nicklas Nilsson, will be auctioned off today as a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House charities.

“We have a lot of really devoted franchisees who contribute to our sustainability work, and it feels good that we can use our size to amplify such a great idea as beehives on the rooftops,” said Christoffer Rönnblad, marketing director of McDonald’s Sweden.


Agency: NORD DDB
CCO: Andreas Dahlqvist
Art Director: Joel Ekstrand
Copywriter: Petter Dixelius
Account Manager: Stina Nyberg
Senior Client Manager: Jeanette Ytterman
Creative Producer: Tobias Bergenwall
Graphic Designer: Daniel Liljas
Graphic Designer: Fredrik Kjellström
Planner: Jesper Andersson
Design and Construction: Nicklas Nilsson

@zanger Doug Zanger is a senior editor, agencies at Adweek, focusing on creativity and agencies.