World's Largest Bee Rediscovered in Indonesia After Species Was Thought to Be Extinct

Playing Giant Bee Thought to Be Extinct Seen for 1st Time in Nearly 40 Years

The world's biggest bee is pretty darn hard to find.

As long as a human thumb, the so-called Wallace's Giant Bee hasn't been seen in decades. Named after Alfred Russell Wallace, who discovered the behemoth species in Indonesia, the black creature was last seen in 1981.

Last month, a group retraced Wallace's trek for the Global Wildlife Conservation, searching for the elusive bee that has a wing span of two and a half inches. On the last day of their five-day expedition, with every person in the group sick, they managed to find the creature's nest.

Photographer Clay Bolt said it was "the most remarkable thing I'd every laid my eyes on."

Bolt wrote, "I simply couldn't believe it. We had discovered Wallace's Giant Bee." He did a little victory dance, then made images and film of the elusive flying insect.

"My goal was to be the first person to make a photo of a living Wallace's Giant Bee, and I had achieved that goal," he wrote for the Glogal Wildlife Conservation's website.

Bolt hopes to work with researchers in Indonesia to protect super-sized bees, which make their home in active termite mounds, he said.

"Just knowing that this bee's giant wings go thrumming through this ancient Indonesian forest helps me feel that, in a world of so much loss, hope and wonder do exist," he wrote.

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