Wallace's Giant

Search for Lost Species > Most Wanted > Wallace's Giant Bee

Wallace's Giant Bee Found, rediscovered lost species in Indonesia
IUCN Red List Category - Vulnerable

Wallace's Giant Bee



Wallace’s Giant Bee is the second of the Search for Lost Species' top 25 "most wanted" species to be found. It was rediscovered in February 2019 by Natural history photographer, Clay Bolt.

Wallace's Giant Bee, with an estimated maximum wingspan of two and a half inches, it is the largest bee on Earth. It was believed extinct until it was rediscovered in 1981 by American researcher Adam C. Messer, who found six nests on the island of Bacan and other nearby islands. It hasn’t been seen since. A 1984 paper touched on the life history of the bee, which exhibits uncommon communal behavior, and rediscovery offers the possibility of greater insight into the life of this fascinating creature. The species was originally collected by British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in 1859.

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Explore the stories behind the rediscovery of the world's largest bee.

Rediscovered Wallace's Giant Bee, taking a photo
Rediscovering Wallace's
Giant Bee

Behind-the-scenes account of Clay Bolt's rediscovery of Wallace's Giant Bee.

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Wallace's Giant Bee is 4x the size of a European honey bee
FOUND: World's Largest Bee

Second "Search for Lost Species" rediscovery in the wild after 38 years missing.


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Photographs Wallace's Giant Bee
In the News

The New York Times - The world's largest bee is not extinct.

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