The Naupaka is a shrub that is native to the Hawaiian islands. Unfortunately, these beautiful plants are disappearing, and the ones that remain seem to be missing several petals. This is due to the dwindling numbers of their primary pollinators, which is a yellow faced bee species belonging to the hylaeus genus. On September 30th the US Fish and Wildlife Service added seven different bees from the hylaeus species to the endangered species list. These bees are the first to ever appear on the list.
The yellow-faced bees were once Hawaii’s most abundant insects. However, habitat loss, invasive species and climate change have all contributed to their now small population. In 2010 a non-profit company named submitted a petition to have the yellow-faced bees federally protected. In an effort to reestablish the once sizeable yellow-faced bee population, an entomologist has invented an artificial nest that is designed to keep invasive insects out, thus saving the lives of many bees that would otherwise die. Hopefully, this artificial nest can be put to use before it is too late.
If the artificial nest is used on a large scale, do you think that nature will still find a way to reduce the population of yellow-faced bees?