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Saving the Endangered Hawaiian Yellow-faced Bee

I am developing conservation management plans for the endangered Hawaiian yellow-faced bees (Hylaeus spp.). In order to develop a captive rearing program and enhance the existing coastal strand habitat to better support increased populations, I am carefully studying the nest architecture and developmental stages of successful populations of H. anthracinus. I am also evaluating the pests, pathogens, and non-native bees, which have recently invaded the coastal strand habitat on which H. anthracinus depend. I have designed an artificial nest system that allows us to observe yellow-faced bee nests through translucent tubing. The artificial nest systems are equipped with non-toxic ant barriers providing a relatively safe nesting habitat for these endangered pollinators. This conservation tool also gives us the opportunity to evaluate nest health in the field, record life history data, and potentially will serve as a source for translocation and captive rearing stock.

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