Rare blue calamintha bee spotted for first time in four years | The Optimist Daily
Today’s Solutions: June 21, 2024

Until this past March, the blue Calamintha bee had not been seen for four years and was thought to be extinct. But recently, a researcher with a keen eye spotted the blue bee while installing bee condos in Central Florida’s Lake Wales Ridge area. Its sighting is a beacon of hope for conservationists hoping to save the species from going extinct.

The rare bee is only found in just 16 square miles of pine scrub habitat at Central Florida’s Lake Wales Ridge. It is listed on Florida’s State Wildlife Action Plan as a species in greatest conservation need. The researcher who found the bee, Chase Kimmel,  is from the Florida Museum of Natural History. He used macro photography and checked in with lead authors to confirm the find. 

The bee was spotted on a blue calamities plant, one of the insect’s food sources, which is also a threatened species. Given its elusive nature, there is still little known about the bee’s behavior, biology, and habitat needs. However, the recent sighting has allowed researchers to identify seven new areas the blue Calamintha bee frequents, showing its range is larger than previously thought. 

The next steps for researchers are to continue to study the blue Calaminthas behavior and habitat needs and seeing if it qualifies for protection under the Endangered Species Act. Although still at risk of extinction, this recent sighting offers the potential to save this rare and beautiful species.

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