World's Largest Bee Rediscovered in Wild

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While the bee does look horrifying, it is a bee, so it probably isn't itching to sting you unless it feels threatened (and again, it's in a part of Indonesia where it wasn't found for 38 years) but still, I'm certainly not going to sleep well tonight knowing this creature is out there somewhere.

With a wingspan of six centimetres and a body the size of a human thumb, the Megachile pluto is considered the world's largest bee, and was feared extinct.

He described the female-about as long as an adult human's thumb, and four times larger than a European honeybee-as a "large, black, wasp-like insect, with huge jaws like a stag beetle". It wasn't seen again for decades, making it the "holy grail" of bees.

The giant bee has always been reclusive.

About that sound: Touting their discovery, the team posted B-roll (!) video of Wallace's giant bee flying around in a small enclosure, its wings sounding like a deep drone compared to the high-pitched buzz of honey bees. "To actually see how handsome 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".

It was first discovered by English entomologist Alfred Russell Wallace on the Indonesian island of Bacon, but had been lost to science since 1981.

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Those in the environmental community have reason to celebrate this week, as not one, but two otherwise missing species have been rediscovered by researchers and conservation groups on the Galapagos Islands and in Indonesia.

The team that found the female bee released her back to the nest after observing it in a flybox, according to Global Wildlife Conservation.

He told Newsweek that for the last 40 years, the bee had essentially been hiding in plain sight.

The giant bee - the female can measure almost 4cm in length - first became known to science in 1858 when the British explorer and naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace discovered it on the tropical Indonesian island of Bacan.

One of the first images of a living Wallace's giant bee. After doing a victory dance, Bolt photographed and filmed the bee.

As has been the case with other historic perceptions about bees, the king bee turned out to be a queen: the females are far larger than the males, which measure less than one inch in length. In the study, which builds upon their discovery that bees understand the concept of zero (what?!), the researchers "showed bees can be taught to recognise colours as symbolic representations for addition and subtraction, and that they can use this information to solve arithmetic problems", as explained in a statement from RMIT.