"A sound of huge wings": the biggest bee in the world is found

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<p class=A German leaf bee (Megachile willughbiella) is small compared to the giant bee (Megachile pluto).

imago / perspective

A researcher on a remote Indonesian island has made a killer: the giant bee Wallace has been considered extinct for many years. Now, in the desert of the northern Moluccas, Clay Bolt immediately hit an entire beehive.

All black and the size of a human thumb: the giant bee Wallace has been spotted again for decades. The researchers said they found specimens of the world's largest bee species on a remote Indonesian island. It was "simply amazing" to really "see how beautiful and tall this way is to listen to the sound of its huge wings," said the bee photographer Clay Bolt in a statement from the organization of environmental conservation Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC).

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The species was discovered in the 19th century by the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace and last seen in the wild in 1981, according to GWC. Bolt has now found a beehive on an island in the northern Moluccas. "My dream now is to make this be a symbol of environmental protection in this part of Indonesia," said the photographer.

The bee with the Latin name Megachile pluto is about four times larger than a bee. The expert of Eli Wyman of Princeton University hopes that this discovery will lead to further research "that will allow us to better understand the life story of this truly unique bee" and to protect it from extinction. In the red list of endangered species of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the giant bee is listed as "endangered".

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