It’s a historic but sobering event for Hawai‘i’s native bees.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has added seven species of Native Hawaiian yellow-faced bees to the endangered species list. It’s also the first time any bees in the US have been added to the list.
Scott Black is the Executive Director of the Xerces Society, which fought to get federal protection for the bees. He says the loss of habitat and invasive species are the main reasons for the decline. Black says people can help by planting more native flowers, and supporting organic agriculture, which reduces the amount of pesticides being sprayed into the environment.
The rule goes into effect later this month. In addition to the bee, 39 other native plant species, along with the band-rumped storm-petrel, the orange black Hawaiian damselfly, and the anchialine pool shrimp will be added to the endangered species list.