Seven types of bees placed on US endangered species list

Seven types of bees have been placed on a list of endangered species in the US.

Varieties of yellow-faced and masked bees were once found in abundance in Hawaii - but now face extinction.

Habitat loss, wildfires and the invasion of nonnative plants and insects have driven down the bee number, according to US wildlife managers.

Pollinators like bees are crucial for the production of fruits, nuts and vegetables and represent billions of dollars in value each year to the US's agricultural economy.

This is the first time in the US's history that bees have been placed on an endangered species list.

The rusty patched bumble bee is also endangered Credit: Reuters

Only last week, the US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed adding the rusty patched bumble bee to the list of endangered and threatened species.

One of several wild bee species seen declining over the past two decades, the rusty patched bumble bee is the first in US to be formally proposed for protection.