There is some new buzz about bees!
A few weeks ago, I reported that millions of bees were killed as a result of accidentally being sprayed with pesticide while South Carolina health officials were battling to stave off Zika infiltration.
Now, 7 separate species native to the Hawaiian Islands are officially endangered.
The seven species – Hylaeus anthracinus, Hylaeus longiceps, Hylaeus assimulans, Hylaeus facilis, Hylaeus hilaris, Hylaeus kuakea, and Hylaeus mana – live in many different habitats on the Hawaiian Islands, such as coastlines, wet and dry forests, and shrublands.
But what they all have in common is that their numbers are dwindling.
“These bees require a habitat with a diversity of plants that flower throughout the year so that a consistent source of pollen and nectar is available,” the Xerces Society reports.
There are plans to potentially add the rusty patch bumble bee shortly, as it is a dwindling species that was once common in the upper midwest and north-eastern United States.
The bees are facing competition from invasive species as well as losing natural habitat. Cynthia King, an entomologist with Hawaii’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife, is confident that the new status will help Hawaii with its bee conservation plans.
“A lot of people think of Hawaii as a lost cause because we have so many invasive species,” she says, but “we’re really well positioned right now to make headway for the bee.”
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