The World’s Biggest Bee, Thought to Be Extinct, Still Buzzing Around

The bee’s massive wingspan is 2.5 inches.

Megachile pluto is the world’s largest bee. (Clay Bolt)

Bust out your EpiPen because researchers have re-discovered a long-thought extinct mega bee whose wingspan is a monstrous two and a half inches wide.

According to HuffPost, Wallace’s Giant Bee, also known as the “World’s Biggest Bee,” was spotted in Indonesia last month by entomologist Eli Wyman and wildlife photographer Clay Bolt.

Bolt says his team focused on the country’s forests where the bee was known to buzz around tree-dwelling termite mounds. The researchers nearly gave up after a member of the team came down with an illness, but their luck turned when an Indonesian guide noticed something nearby.

“That day we walked down an old orchard road flanked on both sides by mixed lowland forest and fruit trees,” said Bolt, adding that an eagle-eyed scout “spotted a low termite mound, around eight feet from the ground.”

Upon further inspection, the tired and hungry team discovered what they were looking for: a bee’s nest. “I simply couldn’t believe it: We had rediscovered Wallace’s Giant Bee,” Bolt wrote on his blog.

Bolt hopes to work with Indonesian conservation groups to set up protections for the bee and feels positive about its future. “This really offered me hope. There’s so much bad news that’s coming out, with all these species being lost, and I think sometimes it’s easy to just give up and say ‘there’s no hope for anything,’” Bolt told Gizmodo.

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