World’s biggest bee found: It’s as big as your thumb

Its wingspan is 2.5 inches

The world's largest bee

(Gray News) – In the world of bees, this one’s a monster and apparently pretty good at hide-and-seek.

Wallace’s giant bee had been missing in action since 1981 but was recently rediscovered in Indonesia by an international team of scientists and conservationists from the University of Sydney and CQUniversity.

The bee is the world’s largest, with a wingspan of 2.5 inches. These bees are about four times larger than a European honeybee.

“It was absolutely breathtaking to see this ‘flying bulldog’ of an insect that we weren’t sure existed anymore,” said Clay Bolt, a natural history photographer, who took the first photos and video of the species alive after spending years looking for them.

“To see how beautiful and big the species is in real life, to hear the sound of its giant wings thrumming as it flew past my head, was just incredible.”

The search team found the bee in January in the North Moluccas, an island group in Indonesia.

Researchers hope the find means there are more of the giant bees in the region’s forests and are talking with Indonesian collaborators to look for the bee in other locations.

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