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Florida scientists find rare bee species in new locations

Posted at 12:59 PM, Jun 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-05 12:59:02-04

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Museum of Natural History scientists have found the first nest of Florida’s extraordinarily rare blue Calamintha bee and added a new location to its known range: the Ocala National Forest.

They also confirmed the insect feeds on a second, but highly endangered, host plant.

Researchers made the discoveries during their second field season tracking the obscure bee in Central Florida’s sand pine scrub habitats.

Their findings will help inform conservation and land management efforts and a federal assessment on whether the blue Calamintha bee qualifies for protection under the Endangered Species Act.