Bees Added to Endangered Species List
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has added seven different species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bees to the endangered species list on Friday, Sept. 31. This is the first time the U.S. has ensured the protection of bees under the Endangered Species Act.
Bees are an important part of the nation’s agricultural value. They are a $15 billion industry, and are needed to pollinate different kinds of fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
“People need to realize that if bees become extinct, it will cause many problems in the long run,” Asia Vega ‘17 said.
The bees became endangered due to loss of habitat from non-native plants, wildfires, and new construction developments in coastal areas. Invasive ants and feral pigs also place a danger on the yellow-faced bees. Without them, native Hawaiian plant species could very well disappear.
Internationally, beekeepers have reported a significant drop in the number of bees in the last 10 years. This drop may have resulted from the use of pesticides, changes to landscape, and an increase in climate temperature.
To help save the bees, people can plant bee-friendly plants, avoid using pesticides in their gardens, and buy raw, local honey, instead of honey imported from China.