Bees are facing mass extinction because of man-made climate change. If the bees die, then the human food supply will also be threatened. Bees serve as pollinators and help keep us eating the good food that we love so much. And while bee populations are decreasing rapidly because of man-made climate change, experts have come forward to share an exciting announcement concerning one species of bees that were previously thought to be extinct.
Wallace’s giant bee is the largest known species of bee on planet Earth. It has a wingspan that is 2.5 inches long. Although the bee is hard to miss, experts have not seen the critter in the wild in nearly four decades. They had feared that it might have gone extinct, but now evidence has come forward that indicates that this bee is not extinct but just endangered.
Because the bee, which is named after the American researcher Alfred Wallace, was not seen since 1981, people feared that it was gone from the world forever. Wallace first documented the creature in the wilderness of Indonesia. Since the early 1980s, no one has seen the bee, and experts feared that it might have been gone for good.
Wallace’s bee was listed as the second-most sought after creature on the list of species on the Search for Lost Species. That list included 25 creatures that experts “most wanted” to find in their natural habitat in the wild after years of no human contact.
Because Wallace’s bee was so important for the experts to find, a group of researchers set out in January 2019 with one mission – to find the bee if it still lived on Earth. The group of researchers came from the Global Wildlife Conservation group and were eager to hunt for the bee.
For months, the researchers found nothing. They continued to search through the dense forests in Indonesia, hunting for the elusive bee. But no matter how hard they tried, they never found the critter. It was very disheartening – especially since they were on the clock and had to get back very soon.
On the very last day of the expedition, the research team decided to go out into the wild with hope rather than a pessimistic attitude. And that’s when things turned out for them. They found a nest in a tree about eight feet from the ground.
Photographer Clay Bolt bolted up the tree. He was intent on being the first person to photograph Wallace’s bee during the expedition. If he did, he’d make history as the person who found the bee after nearly four decades of it being lost to humanity.
Near the nest, Bolt snagged a photo of the bee, which was about the size of his thumb. It was a shy female and “the most remarkable thing I’d ever laid my eyes on,” he said according to Inside Edition.
The team waited hours for her to leave the nest. When she refused, they tickled her with some grass and Clay Bolt captured the footage of her flying that people were so desperate to see.
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