Last week, McDonald's fast-food chain announced the opening of the company's smallest branch in the world. The new store is only half a square meter but it will probably be enough for its target audience - bees.

In recent years, bees have mysteriously disappeared. Entire colonies of bees that went out to collect nectar simply disappeared, leaving the hives almost completely empty. The phenomenon, known as the "colony collapse disorder," is only getting worse around the world. The US Environmental Protection Agency reported that there was a 40% drop in the number of bee colonies in the United States last year.

The disappearance of beehives from the landscape could lead to ecological disaster on a global scale. Bees are responsible for the sole pollination of many species of plants, and without the plants and animals that are nourished by bees, the future of mankind is also questionable. In the meantime, despite studies on the subject, it is still unclear what causes the sudden syndrome. There are those who blame a specific virus which attacks bees, and there are those who believe that modern pesticides kill the bees, but it is clear to everyone that it is necessary to swiftly take action.

To combat the phenomenon, many places around the world began to build small beehives on rooftops and courtyards. In Sweden, the initiative also reached McDonald's and they built small beehives on their stores' roofs and in the city center as well in order to provide a home for bees. Some of the McDonald's stores even plant flowers and plants instead of the grass that grows around the restaurant in order to help the bees on the roof as well as the rest of the city.

The international McDonald's chain has decided to join the local initiative in Sweden, creating a small hive of its own in the form of a miniature branch of the chain. The "Mac Bee Hive" looks like an exact copy of a McDonald's store but it is only a half of square meter and inside there is a real hive that can house thousands of bees.

A few days after the unique hive was publicized, it already sold at an auction for $10,000. McDonald's donated the proceeds to charity and also encourages those who can't build bee hives to at least to contribute to changing part of their lawns into gardens for flowers.

Meanwhile, the new McDonald's branch has already begun to gain popularity and has become a home to several thousand bees.