Scientific Name: Megachile pluto
Common Name: Indonesian Resin Bee

Kingdom:  Animalia
Phylum:  Arthropoda
Class: Insecta          
Order:  Hymenoptera
Family:  Apocrita     
Genus:  Megachile
Species:  M. pluto

 

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Can you imagine a bee that is almost 2 inches? An Indonesian resin bee female can be as long as 69mm or 1.54 inches. Males are usually 23mm long.  The bee is very fuzzy, which helps pollen stick onto them. This bee is found through out East Asia, but it was recently found in California. The Indonesian resin bee is also referred as Wallace’s Giant Bee. The following will provide a general description about this bee’s size, habitat, and diet. 

The resin bee has a yellowish thorax, and brown fur. It also has black eyes and antennas for communication. Adaptations of this bee are a stinger, wings, fur for picking up pollen, and fur that blend in with flowers. A female Indonesian resin bee is 39 mm or about 1.5 inches, while the male is 23 mm long.  The Indonesian resin bee’s wingspan is 63mm or 2.5 inches.

The Indonesian resin bee is found in eastern Asia, but was recently found in California. The conservation status of the resin bee is data deficient. Which means little or no information is known about the abundance or distribution of this bee. The bee makes its nest out of resin in active termite nests.

Megachile Pluto’s predators include kingbirds, mockingbirds, beewolves, and dragonflies. The bee prevents getting eaten by using its stinger. It can also blend in with flowers. This bee feeds on nectar and pollen by using its long proboscis. Megachile Pluto is a great importance by help pollinate flowers.

This bee helps reproduce flowers. I learned this bee is it’s the largest bee in the world.  The world would just not be the same without this bee.

Author: Steven G.
Published: 3/2013

Sources: “Bees” by Larry Brimmer http://entnemt.ufl.edu/creature http://ext.colostate.edu/pubsinsects http:// iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist http//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megachile_Pluto

Photo Credit: taken by Patricia A Michaels