Bad news for bees. The United States government has upgraded the status of seven species of yellow-faced bees to endangered.
According to the federal register, the bees, which are native to Hawaii, are being added to the list for the very first time.
Yellow-faced bees should not be confused with "yellow jackets," which are in fact wasps. Unlike wasps, which are pests more than anything else, according to the State of Hawaii, Division of Forestry and Wildlife says yellow-faced bees are good pollinators and thus are vital to the entire ecosystem.
Pollinators transfer pollen and nectar between plants and flowers, which allow them to grow seeds and reproduce.
As a result of the new listing, the U.S. government is now taking bee conservation more seriously. “Listing these species as endangered will certainly help draw attention to the threats that have brought them close to extinction and it also allows us to begin the process of bringing about recovery,” Fish and Wildlife spokesman Brent Lawrence said.
The listing, which was updated on Friday, also labeled 39 species of Hawaiian plants, two animals and one bird as endangered.