Hawaiian bees pollinate native flowers.

(Mirror Daily, United States) Hawaiian bees are joining other species on the endangered animal list. Starting September 30, they are under the protection of federal authorities, and the new regulation aims to save the bees from extinction. No less than seven Hawaiian bees have this status now.

Xerces Society is one of the active organizations which protect pollinators. The yellow-faced bees in Hawaii are among the species they defend. Advocates have been trying to draw the authorities’ attention to the situation for seven years. They first required federal protection for the bees in Hawaii back in 2009.

Years of research account for the importance of the Hawaiian bees on the islands. The small insects are closely related to the well-being of both plants and animals in the islands. They can be found in forests, as well as near the beaches, but also outside Hawaii. Nevertheless, specialists explain that these bees only pollinate Hawaiian flowers, and some of the plants are also on the verge of extinction.

Specialists are concerned about the balance of ecosystems if the Hawaiian bees disappear. This will lead to the extinction of the plants they pollinate too. Moreover, these plants stand as shelter and food source for other animals, which will indirectly be affected by the disappearance of the bees. The new law helps environmentalists raise awareness about the situation of the Hawaiian insects.

There are several threats which severely affect bees in Hawaii. One of them is other insects, which invade their territory. There are also wild pigs which interfere with their activity. Loss of habitat is a major concern, as wildfires and development around beaches deprive bees of their natural environment.

The Hawaiian bees are the first bee species in the United States to be placed under the protection of the  Endangered Species Act. Authorities at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced  that seven bee species that will be protected by law from now on, but they are not the only ones. Three other animals were also added, namely the band-rumped storm-petrel, the anchialine pool shrimp, and the orangeblack Hawaiian damselfly. As far as plants are concerned, almost forty Hawaiian species are also considered to be endangered.

Authorities hope that further conservation strategies will help the Hawaiian bees surive, as well as other animals too. Recovery programs will start as soon as all details are set.

Image courtesy of: Wikipedia