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article imageHawaiian yellow-faced bees placed on Endangered species list

By Karen Graham     Oct 1, 2016 in Environment
While many of the headlines are screaming that honey bees in the U.S. have been placed on the endangered species list for the first time, only part of this is true. Actually, seven species of Hawaii's native yellow-faced bees are endangered.
You might be thinking, "Oh, that's in Hawaii," but the fact that any bees would end up becoming critically endangered is something all of us should be alarmed over.
On Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) determined that seven species of Hawaii's yellow-faced bees require federal protection. After being one of Hawaii's most prolific insects in the early 1900s, the pollinators are struggling to survive. The Associated Press said was the first time any bee in the U.S. has received the protection.
ABC News
The provisions of the endangered species act will go into effect on October 31, 2016, but one critical protection, the safeguard of controls on critical bee habitats, is not included. The Huffington Post reports that the Xerces Society, which has pushed for the bee's protection since 2009, said Friday's announcement "was excellent news for the bees, but there is much work that needs to be done to ensure that Hawaii’s bees thrive,”
Matthew Shepherd, a spokesman for the Xerces Society, wrote on the group’s website. “Unfortunately, the USFWS has not designated any ‘critical habitat,’ areas of land of particular importance for the endangered bees.”
Shepherd went on to explain the many threats yellow-faced bees have to contend with in Hawaii, including habitat loss due to land conversion, development, and recreation, the negative impacts of non-native species, such as wild pigs, bigheaded ants, and invasive plants, and extreme weather brought on by climate change.
The USFWS is also considering placing another bee species from the Midwest, the rusty patched bumble bee, which once was found in 26 states and parts of Canada, but has lost 90 percent of its range in the last 20 years. The process of adding the bees to the endangered species list could take up to one year.
The rusty-patched bumble bee is a docile bee. The worker bee has a small rust-colored patch on the m...
The rusty-patched bumble bee is a docile bee. The worker bee has a small rust-colored patch on the middle of the second abdominal segment.
UW-La Crosse
More about hawaiian bees, yellowfaced bees, first time on list, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Critical habitat
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