HUGE bee.

dighappy(z7 NJ)June 26, 2005

Earlier today I saw the largest bee I have ever seen.....it was flying around the hummingbird feeder and was almost as large as the hummer that seemed to be chasing it. I seem to remember another post last year about a very large bee that had a nasty bite. I am not sure if the hummer was trying to chase this bee away from its food source or trying to eat it but the bee was truly almost as big as the hummer. Pretty darn scary, what kind of bee was this?

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treebeard(z5 MA)

If you can provide a little more description of this 'bee', folks might be better able to make suggestions.

Note that the largest bee in the world is supposedly found in Queensland, Australia. The female Megachile pluto, an Indonesian bee once thought to be extinct, can have a body length of 1 1/2" and a wingspan of 2 1/2". And there is a hornet in Japan that is said (by National Geographic) to have a stinger 1/4" long. Fortunately neither of those types presently range in the US.

If what you saw is that large, chances are it was something other than a bee.

The largest 'bee' I'm aware of in this part of the country is actually a hornet, called the Giant Hornet, also called the European Hornet, Vespa crabo germana, which can reach a length of 1 1/8". Other wasps and hornets can range up to 3/4" to 1", but rarely get much larger.

Can you recall the color? Estimate of size? Smooth body or fuzzy?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 8:10AM
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dighappy(z7 NJ)

Well I searched this site and came up with the name of this giant bug.....it is a cicada killer. Check out the posts from Sept. 04....there are some pics there of this monster bee.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 11:20PM
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treebeard(z5 MA)

Yep, that's a big one alright. Forgot about them, so like you, I did some internet research (Googling...) and found one website (see link below) that, for all their outwardly frightening appearance, made them sound like almost friendly critters.

I'm not so sure I'd take the chance of trying to pick one up like this fellow did, though...

Here is a link that might be useful: Tame Killers?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 7:05AM
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monsignorret

Yes, I've had one nesting around my front porch for two years now and I'd say that it is definitely the Eastern Cicada Killer. Check out this link - very informative.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_cicada_killer

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 10:23AM
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