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“Flying BullDog” – Largest Bee of the World

February 22, 2019

The world’s largest bee, almost the size of a human thumb, was last seen in 1981. According to Global Wildlife Conservation, it was discovered by Alfred Wallace in 1858 and it was nick named as ‘Flying Bulldog’ by Wallace in 1981.

After being missing for 38 years, it has been rediscovered in Indonesian Islands of the North Moluccas. Commonly known as the Wallace’s giant bee, it has jaws like a stag beetle that are four times larger than a honeybee.

A search team of North American and Australian biologists found a single female Wallace’s giant bee (Megachile pluto), which can measure nearly 4cm, living inside a termites’ nest in a tree, more than two meters off the ground.

Since the bee has only been viewed a few times in the wild, we know nothing about the habits, life history and their female secretive life cycle involving making nests of tree.

Indonesia lost 15 percent of its tree cover between 2001 and 2017 to make way for agricultural fields, so this excitement of discovering Wallace’s giant bee might not last long if conservation efforts aren’t put in place soon.

But in the meantime, it’s nice to know that Megachile pluto is still buzzing through the forest like a tiny helicopter.