With a wingspan of six centimetres and a body the size of a human thumb, the Megachile pluto is considered the world's largest bee, and was feared extinct.
The bee's disappearing act was foiled by an intrepid and determined search team of North American and Australian biologists who wanted to figure out once and for all whether the bee still existed.The Guardian reports that the scientists found the answer in a termite's nest in a tree, where a single female Wallace's giant bee had set up a home. However, the rediscoveries of the Wallace's giant bee in Indonesia and the Fernandina giant tortoise on the Galapagos Islands present environmentalists with the chance to gather new data to better understand the current state of nature.
Alfred Russell Wallace, the discoverer and namesake of the bee, described the insect as "a large black wasp-like insect, with enormous jaws like a stag-beetle", according to a copy of his journals that were obtained by Bolt.
"My dream is now to elevate this bee to a symbol of conservation in this part of Indonesia, a point of pride for the locals there".
It was first discovered by English entomologist Alfred Russell Wallace on the Indonesian island of Bacon, but had been lost to science since 1981.
He described the female-about as long as an adult human's thumb, and four times larger than a European honeybee-as a "large, black, wasp-like insect, with vast jaws like a stag beetle".
Little is known about these elusive insects' habits.
"Messer's rediscovery gave us some insight, but we still know next to nothing about this extraordinary insect", Eli Wyman, an entomologist at Princeton University and one of the researchers who rediscovered the lost bee, said in the statement.
Here's to hoping it doesn't take another 120 years to find them again.
Last month, Bolt and his colleagues embarked on a search for termite mounds in trees in Indonesia, the last place a scientist spotted the species.
There are now no legal protections around its trade.
Robin Moore said: "By making the bee a world-famous flagship for conservation, we are confident that the species has a brighter future than if we just let it quietly be collected into oblivion". The female Wallace's giant bees use resin and wood to create tunnels and cells in existing nests, carving out their own living space away from the termites.
More than three decades later experts managed to find a live female specimen after spending days searching the island's wildlife - and with such a rare find they made sure it was photographed and filmed.