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Pollinator Conservation Resources: Hawai'i

A tiny yellow-faced bee foraging on 'Ohi'a lehua, a native pollinator plant, at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
Yellow-faced bee on 'Ohi'a lehua. (Photo: Xerces Society / Matthew Shepherd)

Welcome to our Pollinator Conservation Resources for Hawai'i! Here you'll find some region-specific collections of publications and information about endangered native bees, as well as general resources that provide helpful advice for conservation throughout the United States and Canada. For more resources, see our Publications Library or learn about our Pollinator Conservation Program.

Click to return to the Pollinator Conservation Resource Center home page.

 

Habitat Assessment

Habitat Assessment Guide for Pollinators in Yards, Gardens, and Parks

Landscaping for pollinators is one of the easiest ways for urban, suburban, and rural residents to directly benefit local wildlife. Schoolyards, community gardens, back yards, corporate campuses, rain gardens, and neighborhood parks all have the potential to meet the most basic needs of pollinators, including protection from pesticides, and resources for foraging, nesting, and overwintering. The goal of this tool is to evaluate pollinator habitat at a given site, and identify areas for improvement. This process will also help you prioritize the most essential next steps to take for pollinators at the site.

 

Pollinators: Farms and Agricultural Landscapes: Pollinator Habitat Assessment Guide
This pollinator habitat assessment guide is designed for a single site on a farm or agricultural landscape.

 

Beneficial Insects: Farms and Agricultural Landscapes: Beneficial Insect Habitat Assessment Guide
This beneficial insect habitat assessment guide is designed for a single site on a farm or agricultural landscape.
 

Natural Areas and Rangelands: Pollinator Habitat Assessment Guide
This pollinator habitat assessment guide is designed for natural areas and rangelands.

 

Streamlined Bee Monitoring Protocol for Assessing Pollinator Habitat
Developed the University of California, Davis, Rutgers University, Michigan State University, and the Xerces Society, this guide provides instructions for assessing pollinator habitat quality and diversity by monitoring native bees. It was developed for conservationists, farmers, land managers, and restoration professionals to document how native bee communities change through time in pollinator habitats. It includes an introduction to bee identification, a detailed monitoring protocol, and data sheets for different habitat types.

Habitat Installation

Pacific Islands Area Habitat Planting for Pollinators: Habitat Installation Guide

These region-and state-specific guidelines provide in-depth practical guidance on how to install and maintain nectar- and pollen-rich habitat for pollinators in the form of wildflower meadow plantings/conservation cover (NRCS Conservation Practice 327) or linear rows of native flowering shrubs/hedgerow plantings (NRCS Conservation Practice 422). Seed mixes and plant recommendations for each region are included in the appendix of each guide.

 

Pollinator Habitat Installation Planning Form

This form was designed to monitor wildflower diversity and longevity on a single site over time when used in conjunction with Maintaining Diverse Stands of Wildflowers Planted for Pollinators.

 

Habitat Management

Maintaining Diverse Stands of Wildflowers

High quality pollinator meadows sometimes experience a decline in wildflower diversity or abundance as they age. This guide provides recommendations on how to bring declining meadows back into a high quality condition.

 

Collecting and Using Your Own Wildflower Seed

In this document we outline the basic steps of collecting native plant seed using readily available, non-specialized equipment, as well as tips for cleaning, storing, and sharing seed to expand pollinator habitat on farms and in our communities.

 

Nesting & Overwintering Habitat For Pollinators & Other Beneficial Insects

This guide focuses on a variety of natural nesting habitat features that can be readily incorporated into most landscapes. Compared to artificial nesting options such as bee blocks and bee hotels, natural nesting habitat features often better mimic the natural nest site density of insects, and also break down naturally with time, limiting disease and parasite issues.

 

Roadside Best Management Practices that Benefit Pollinators

These best management practices provide concrete steps that can be taken by any roadside management agency to improve roadside vegetation for pollinators. The BMPs cover management of existing habitat, including ways to modify the use of mowing and herbicides to enhance roadsides, and methods to incorporate native plants and pollinator habitat into the design of new roadsides.

 

Pesticide Protection

Guidance to Protect Habitat from Pesticide Contamination: Creating and Maintaining Healthy Pollinator Habitat

This Xerces Society guidance document was designed to help growers, land managers, and others safeguard pollinator habitat from harmful pesticide contamination. It includes information on selecting habitat sites, as well as ways to maintain clean habitat by limiting and carefully managing pesticide use.

 

Preventing or Mitigating Potential Negative Impacts of Pesticides on Pollinators Using Integrated Pest Management and Other Conservation Practices

Agronomy Technical Note No. 9.

This technical note is designed to help NRCS field staff and agricultural professionals identify potential pesticide hazards to pollinators, incorporate pollinator protection into IPM plans, and coordinate other conservation practices to prevent or mitigate identified hazards to pollinators and beneficial insects.

 

Smarter Pest Management: Protecting Pollinators at Home

Most of North America’s native bee species only forage over a distance of a few hundred yards, so with a little planning, your yard can provide a safe space for bees and other pollinators to thrive. All you need to give them are flowering plants throughout the growing season, undisturbed places to nest, and protection from pesticides. This Xerces Society guide will help you with the last item, managing yard pests in a pollinator-friendly way.

 

Smarter Pest Management: Pollinator Protection for Cities and Campuses

This Xerces Society fact sheet introduces to city and campus land managers the concept of integrated pest management (IPM), a system that emphasizes prevention first and seeks to eliminate the underlying causes of plant diseases, weeds, and insect problems rather than relying on routine use of pesticides.

 

Buying Bee-Safe Plants
Creating a welcoming home for local pollinators in your home garden or city park habitat is reason enough to choose plants free from harmful pesticide residues. Nurseries are more likely to make investments in pollinator-friendly production if their customers make it clear this is what they want. Our guide, Buying Bee-Safe Plants, covers four ways to help you find plants that are safe for bees, and includes tips and questions to use at the nursery.

 

Offering Bee-Safe Plants: A Guide for Nurseries

Three core elements of pollinator-friendly growing include using non-chemical methods to prevent and manage pests, monitoring of pest pressure, and limiting risk to pollinators if pesticides are used. These concepts are rooted in integrated pest management and are familiar to most growers. Offering Bee-Safe Nursery Plants: A Guide for Nurseries explains these concepts further and was created for wholesalers and retailers to explore, encourage, and implement pollinator friendly pest-management in the nursery business.

 

Protecting Pollinators from Pesticides: Fungicide Impacts on Pollinators

From large farms to small backyard gardens, many people use fungicides to control plant pathogens. While insecticides have long been recognized as a threat to bees and other beneficial insects, fungicides have generally been assumed to be relatively harmless. Though most fungicide exposures won’t kill a bee immediately, a growing body of research suggests that some fungicides can cause subtle yet significant harm. This Xerces Society fact sheet delves into how these impacts on pollinators occur, and offers mitigation measures and alternative pest management strategies.

 

Organic Pesticides: Minimizing Risks to Pollinators and Beneficial Insects

These Xerces Society guidelines provide a brief overview of how to select and apply pesticides for organic farm operations while minimizing pollinator mortality. Many of the practices outlined here for protecting pollinators also can help to protect beneficial insects such as parasitoid wasps and flies; predaceous wasps, flies, and beetles; ambush and assassin bugs; lacewings; and others. The presence of these insects can further reduce pest pressure and the need for chemical treatments.

 

Common Organic-Allowed Pesticides: A Comparative Overview

Intended as a companion document to Organic Pesticides: Minimizing Risks to Pollinators and Beneficial Insects, this fact sheet is intended to be a quick reference to help you select and use organically-approved pesticides with the least impact on bees and other beneficial insects.

 

Protecting Bees from Neonicotinoids in Your Garden

Neonicotinoids are a group of insecticides that are used widely on farms, as well as around our homes, schools, and city landscapes. This Xerces Society brochure explains why they are a risk to bees, gives examples of neonicotinoid garden products, and gives some simple tips for protecting bees from these insecticides.

 

How Neonicotinoids Can Kill Bees: The Science Behind the Role These Insecticides Play in Harming Bees

In this Xerces Society report, we present an overview of research that clearly documents neonicotinoid impacts on bees. The report also covers what can be inferred from existing research, and identifies knowledge gaps that will need to be filled to allow for better-informed decisions about the future use and regulation of these chemicals.

 

Beyond the Birds and the Bees: Effects of Neonicotinoid Insecticides on Agriculturally Important Beneficial Insects

This Xerces Society report details potential negative impacts of neonicotinoid insecticides on important beneficial insects. It also makes recommendations on how we can better protect important beneficials like beetles and wasps.

 

Supporting Ecologically Sound Mosquito Management: Protecting Pollinators from Pesticides

This Xerces Society fact sheet provides a brief overview of mosquito management methods that protect both people and pollinators, plus two case studies in effective mosquito management.

 

How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides 

This detailed guide, produced jointly by the extension services of Oregon State University, Washington State University, and the University of Idaho, offers guidance on how to select and apply insecticides. Extensive tables list the toxicity to bees of dozens of chemicals and how long after application they remain hazardous to bees in the field.

 

IPI Database

The IPI database contains summaries of research articles on pesticides, their effects on invertebrates, and pesticide movement in the environment. Articles have been reviewed and summarized to highlight key findings by Xerces Society staff.

 

Bee Precaution Database
This database, managed by UC IPM, provides guidance on how to reduce bee poisoning, based on reported pesticide effects on adults and brood of honey bees and other bee species and includes pesticide ratings. 

 

Species Profiles

Yellow faced bee (Hylaeus akoko)

Hylaeus akoko is a large bee endemic to the island of Hawai'i in the state of Hawai'i. It is closely related to the common wet forest species H. fuscipennis and H. pubescens, differing by the presence of facial marks. It was first collected in 2002, and is still known from only a few specimens from a single locality.

 

Yellow faced bee (Hylaeus anomalus)

Hylaeus anomalus is a large bee endemic to the island of O'ahu in Hawai'i. It is easily recognizable due to the red head of the female and orange base of the male abdomen. It was formerly relatively commonly found in the leeward Koolau Mountains above Honolulu, but has not been recorded since the 1930s. The reasons for its decline are unknown.

 

Yellow faced bee (Hylaeus anthracinus)

Hylaeus anthracinus is a coastal bee endemic to the islands of O'ahu, Moloka'i, Kaho'olawe, Maui, Hawai'i, and formerly Lānaʻi in Hawai'i. It is distinguished by the single large facial mark, sometimes filling the entire area below the antennae. Although it can sometimes be found in moderate numbers, habitat destruction has caused its range to contract significantly.

 

Yellow faced bee (Hylaeus assimulans)

Hylaeus assimulans is a coastal and dry forest bee endemic to the islands of O'ahu, Maui, Kaho'olawe, and probably formerly Moloka'i in Hawai'i. It is distinguished by its large size compared to other coastal species, and large facial marks. It is typically found as scattered individuals, and habitat destruction has caused its range to contract significantly.

 

Yellow faced bee (Hylaeus dimidiatus)

Hylaeus dimidiatus is a small bee endemic to the island of Hawai'i in in the state of Hawai'i. It is similar to the wet forest species in the dumetorum species group, differing by the larger facial marks and other details. It is known from two historical and two recent collections, and appears to be associated with the tree Chamaesyce olowaluana.

 

Yellow faced bee (Hylaeus facilis)

Hylaeus facilis is a formerly widespread bee endemic to the islands of O'ahu, Moloka'i, Lana'i, and Maui in Hawai'i. It is distinguished by its single, central face mark and unusually large gonoforceps. One of the most common species collected in the early 1900s, it has been found very rarely in recent decades.

 

Yellow faced bee (Hylaeus finitimus)

Hylaeus finitimus is a coastal bee endemic to the island of Kaua'i in Hawai'i. It is closely related to H. longiceps of O'ahu and Maui Nui. The species is known only from two specimens, one of which is lost, and may be extinct.

 

Yellow faced bee (Hylaeus flavifrons)

Hylaeus flavifrons is a coastal bee endemic to the islands of Kaua'i, Nii'hau, and Lehua in Hawai'i. It is distinguished by the single large facial mark, filling the entire area below the antennae, and the extremely wide scape of the male. It is restricted to a few, small, and widely scattered sites and populations are vulnerable to extirpation.

 

Yellow faced bee (Hylaeus gliddenae)

Hylaeus gliddenae is a large bee endemic to the island of Hawaii in Hawaii. It is distinguished by the unusual red abdomen. It is closely related to H. paradoxicus, differing by the presence of facial marks. It is known only from a single specimen collected in 1934.

 

Yellow faced bee (Hylaeus hilaris)

Hylaeus hilaris is a cleptoparasitic coastal bee endemic to the islands of Moloka'i, Lānaʻi, and Maui in Hawai'i. It is distinguished by the reddish abdomen with white apical hair bands and the mostly yellow face of the male. Never abundant, it is now extremely rare and has been recently collected only at a single site on Moloka'i.

 

Yellow faced bee (Hylaeus hula)

Hylaeus hula is a small bee endemic to the island of Hawai'i in the state of Hawai'i. It is superficially similar to H. flavifrons, differing by the narrower yellow- marked scape and other details. Most collection records are from the Kilauea area, and like other dry- mesic species it is now rare.

 

Yellow faced bee (Hylaeus kona)

Hylaeus kona is a small bee endemic to the island of Hawai'i in the state of Hawai'i. It is similar to H. kokeensis, differing by the grooved scape, marked mandible, and other details. It is known from very few collections, and appears to be associated with the tree Chamaesyce olowaluana.

 

Yellow faced bee (Hylaeus kuakea)

Hylaeus kuakea is a small bee endemic to the island of O'ahu in Hawai'i. It is distinguished by the unusual ivory facial marks. It is similar to H. anthracinus, differing by the facial marks and longer hairs on the head. It is known only from two specimens collected in 1997.