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7 Types of Bees Listed 'Endangered' For The First Time In The US

First Posted: Oct 03, 2016 03:16 AM EDT

Seven species of bees also referred to as yellow-faced bees and once abundant in Hawaii are now in the U.S. federal list of endangered and threatened species. This is the first time the said types of bees are in danger.

The decision was made on Friday in the Federal Register. The yellow-faced or masked bees are jeopardized because of factors such as wildfires, habitat loss and the invasion of non-native plants and insects, according to The Guardian.

The federal wildlife managers stated that these bees were abundant in Hawaii and Maui before. On the other hand, in the recent survey, the populations of the said bees have dropped.

The officials also said that pollinators such as these bees are essential for the production of nuts, vegetables and fruits. They generate billions of dollars in value every year to the nation's agricultural economy.

Meanwhile, Matthew Shepherd, spokesman for the Xerces Society said that the Friday's decision is excellent news for these bees, but there is much work that needs to be done to make certain that Hawaii's bees thrive. He further said that unfortunately, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has not allocated any "critical habitat," areas of land particular significance for the endangered bees.

Hylaeus longiceps or also referred to as Hawaiian yellow-faced bees or long head yellow-faced bees are black in color with "smoky-colored wings" and the elongated head. The male bees have a yellow band on their faces. On the other hand, females are totally black. These are considered solitary bees, in which they are the ones that typically produce neither beeswax nor honey. They are valuable pollinators and gather pollen to provide their nests with food.

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