The Wallace’s giant bee is as big as a human thumb. That might be frightening to most people, but scientists were delighted when a team of researchers recently found it in Indonesia.
It’s the largest bee in the world, and scientists feared it might be extinct — until now.
A group of researchers made a stunning “rediscovery” of the elusive critter and took the first photos and video of a living Wallace’s giant bee on January 25.
The team — composed of natural history photographer Clay Bolt, entomologist Eli Wyman, behavioral ecologist Simon Robson and ornithologist Glenn Chilton — spent years studying the bee and slogged around in humid Indonesia forests for days before stumbling upon one. The rediscovery has renewed hope that more of the region’s forests are home to the rare species.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies this species as “vulnerable” due to mining and quarrying.