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Jakarta Post

Giant bee: What can we do to keep it alive?

  • Buyung Hadi

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Jakarta   /   Sat, March 30, 2019   /  01:50 pm
Giant bee: What can we do to keep it alive? Stingless male drone giant honey bee (Apis dorsata) (Shutterstock/Muhammad Naaim)

It is somewhat counterintuitive to say that a giant bee, one the size of an adult’s thumb with large pincer-like mouthparts, is hard to spot. Yet this is precisely the case with Wallace’s giant bee (Megachile pluto), which has only three documented live sightings in the last 400 years or so. That’s why the bee’s recent sighting, reported in the Maluku Islands, made news all over the world. Not much is known beyond its habit of building resin nests in live termite mounds, which adds a component of drama. The fact that such an eye-catching creature with large jaws managed to elude spotting lends a dash of mystery.  There is, however, a more sinister side to the story. A dead specimen of Wallace’s giant bee was sold for US$9,100 on eBay last year. The nature photographer who reported the latest sighting is worried people will start hunting the bees a...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.