Native bee species now protected under Endangered Species Act

Photo courtesy Dr. Karl Magnacca
Photo courtesy Dr. Karl Magnacca

Seven bees native to our state are now considered endangered.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, added 7 yellow-faced bee species for protection under the Endangered Species Act, a first for any bees in the nation.

The announcement comes after years of studies that show the bees are being threatened to extinction, and that these insects are important pollinators of native plants, many of which are also endangered.

Entomologist Dr. Karl Magnacca said the endangered bees “were petitioned for listing several years, so it’s taken a long time for this process to go through, but it’s really rewarding to see it finally happening.”

He said while the species is commonly known as yellow-faced bees, it’s “the males (that) are generally black with yellow faces. The females are typically all black.”

For the bees found on Oahu, they’re found in small areas in Sandy Beach and near Turtle Bay in Kahuku.

Also added to the endangered species list are the band-rumped storm petrel, the orange-black Hawaiian damselfly, and the anchialine pool shrimp.

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