big lady bee

Frighteningly Large Bee Discovered Living Her Best Life

Not the world's largest bee.
Not the world’s largest bee. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Making her debut for the first time in 28 years, a female Wallace’s Giant Bee (that its actual name) was spotted by scientists on a secluded Indonesian island. There’s little known about her species, as there hasn’t been another Wallace’s giant bee spotting since 1981. It’s hard to say what she was doing out on that island all alone, but I like to assume that she was relaxing, flying from plant to colorful plant, undisturbed by boy bees or human beings. Sounds ideal.

The lady Big Bee is the size of an adult thumb, and has a six-centimeter wingspan. Alfred Russel Wallace, who discovered the species, described it as “a large black wasp-like insect, with immense jaws like a stag-beetle.” She is terrifying and amazing.

And she was highly sought after. Scientists trekked through the Indonesian jungle for months, hoping to snap a picture of the big, elusive bee. She probably didn’t want to be found, seeing as she was hidden in North Moluccas, a relatively unexplored area.

“It was absolutely breathtaking to see this ‘flying bulldog’ of an insect that we weren’t sure existed anymore, to have real proof right there in front of us in the wild,” natural history photographer, Clay Bolt, told BBC. “To actually see how beautiful and big the species is in life, to hear the sound of its giant wings thrumming as it flew past my head, was just incredible.”

Hopefully these men eventually leave this large lady bee alone, and let her go back to the peaceful, biodiverse habitat that she was residing in before they brought their measuring tools and high tech cameras. That’s unlikely though. There’s next to nothing known about Wallace’s giant bee, and researchers are excited

“We still know next to nothing about this extraordinary insect,” said Eli Wyman, an entomologist at Princeton University.

Let’s hope they still give the bee some “me time!”

Frighteningly Large Bee Discovered Living Her Best Life