Happy World Bee Day! These winged insects hold many records, including a giant species that can grow up to 4.5cm, and the 60,000 striped six-legged friends that converged on Nature M S (India), breaking the record for the longest duration with head fully covered with bees. Take a look at these pretty un-bee-lievable records!
Largest species of bee
Feared by many to be extinct, the largest species of bee, the Wallace giant bee, can grow up to 4.5cm (which is the average length of a human thumb!). Males only grow to about half that length, but that’s still double the size of an average European honey bee.
First discovered by British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, it then went unrecorded for over 100 years before American entomologist Adam Messer spotted two females in February 1981. It was then photographer Clay Bolt who managed to snap this insect whilst on expedition in 2019.
The bee has been described as a “large, black, wasp-like insect with immense jaws like a stag beetle” and is native to the Moluccan Islands in Indonesia.
Smallest species of bee
Situated on the other side of the world, in Southwestern USA, is the Perdita Minima – the world’s smallest bee.
At just 2mm long, this bee weighs just one third of a gram.
Longest duration with head fully covered with bees
From Kerala, India, Nature M S spent four hours, 10 minutes and five seconds with his head completely submerged in bees.
Breaking the previous by over three hours, Nature M S undertook this challenge to raise awareness for the honey bee.
Largest gathering of people dressed as bees
The Yateley and Westfield schools campuses joined together for this mass participation record which saw 2,176 students and staff members dress up as bees.
The event was designed to raise awareness about the plight of bees and to raise money for environmental projects around the school back in 2011.
Largest bee house
Built using bamboo, the London Wildlife Trust built a bee house 13.04m long situated alongside the River Thames in Barking.
The official dimensions were measured at 13.04m wide by 1.27m tall and 0.36m deep – it is now home to over 37 different species of native bee.