© Stephen L. Buchmann and The Bee Works 1999, 2000. All Rights Reserved. Images may not be used for any purpose without express written consent from Stephen Buchmann. Graphic images and web design are copyrighted by Paul Mirocha Design, Tucson, AZ.

One-hundred and twenty feet above the ground suspeneded from a giant limb are single honey comb nests of the world’s largest and fiercest bees, the giant honey bee (Apis dorsata) of the Oriental tropical rainforests. This giant Tualang Tree (Koompassia excelsa) is the tallest tree in the Malaysian rainforests, growing to 240 feet. Its branches are selected by the honey bee colonies as protection against their natural enemies. Most animals, even the honey-seeking sun bear, find it difficult to climb up the smooth-barked tree whose branches emerge  above 100 feet.

Listen to a National Public Radio and National Geographic Radio Expeditions program about the giant honey bees and a family of honey hunters by clicking here.