A decades-old mystery has been solved with the help of newfound bee species

Hylaeus bees likely island-hopped across the Pacific, evolving into distinct species

A female Hylaeus bee appears black with iridescent wings.
Researchers found eight species of Hylaeus bees new to science on Pacific islands by sweeping nets into the tree canopy. This female Hylaeus navai was named after Navai village in Fiji, whose residents hosted the researchers and helped collect bees.

JAMES DOREY PHOTOGRAPHY

In 1965, renowned bee biologist Charles Michener described a new species of masked bee from “an entirely unexpected region,” the Tuamotu Archipelago of French Polynesia.

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