Those Big Black Flying Bees That Don’t Sting

These monstrous bees don't seem to bite or sting...
These monstrous bees don't seem to bite or sting...

These things are big and they make a noise like a humming bird as they fly by, prompting foreigners to duck and find some cover.

Thais say these things don’t bite… I guess that’s true because I’m holding this one in my hand. Proof enough? I assure you I was ready to fling this thing across the room at a wall at the first sign of pain.

I have a video of one terrorizing us (me) by flying around our place a couple years back.

Here’s the YouTube video:

Author: Vern

I'm an American expat living in Thailand. I like to write informative pieces about life in, living in Thailand, including topics like: Thai People, Thai Culture, Nightlife, Technology, and I have published a lot of photographs, videos, and even books on Thailand that you can find at ThailandeBooks.com. There are many photographs of Thailand here - feel free to share with attribution (a link back to the home page). All written content on this site by Vern Lovic. Contact me at Google+.

12 thoughts on “Those Big Black Flying Bees That Don’t Sting”

  1. A couple of weekends ago I was wakeboarding in paknampran (thailand) and hit one of these (or got hit! We basically smacked straight into each other at very high speed!) with my…face! I can tell you it stung!;) although it wasn’t the poor insects fault!;) my face blew up and was swollen for 4 days!! The swelling moved, over those days, from my right temple (where the poor thing and I met unexpectedly on a sunny sunday afternoon), down to my cheek and then mouth!;)

    Let me just say I would have scared little kids who saw me in the dark (or light!). I faired better than my flying friend who I felt dislodge from my face only when I hit the water to get it off! So I think he or she is fish food.

    Its been a month and I still have a bump/bite mark. Thai tattoo
    of life as an expat!;)

    Ps- it is clearly not poisonous as I am still
    Alive (I think…or maybe my ghost is typing this??) but..given the swelling reaction, I would worry if a baby or kid got stung by one of these so do be careful if you have little humans around.

  2. I’ve seen them collecting honey in my garden in the south of France. . Yesterday one got in my black leggings and I squashed it through the material(without knowing what it was) and got stung on index and thumb. Very painful, worse than a wasp.I rolled my leggings and put them to one side till the next day. Could no longer find the insect but got stung again searching for the corpse.. Mystery. I’m short sighted & only saw them from above & was mostly interested in their activities. Only registered their size, between 2 and 3 cm , their colour, coal black, and that their wings were also black but irridescent. The insect most like it is the “black monster” and another I found called called zyl….iris but their size wasn’t available, and I didn’t have a memory of the furry look. yvonne

    1. I think these things are all over the world… many people have told me of different countries they’ve seen them in. In the USA I don’t think I’ve ever seen one.

  3. ummm i just got bite by one and it hurt like heck!!!! i looked it up to find out if it was piosionest.

  4. I live in Sacramento CA and the black bees live here too. Since so many of our honeybees have died off they are often the only pollinators in my garden. Yes, they are certainly loud and buzzy but not aggressive. I don’t even think they have stingers. They just collect pollen until they are all yellow!

    1. Hi Mary Ann,

      I’m not sure we’re talking about the same bees. I lived in the USA for most of my life and I’ve seen black bees that are very large and yet totally different in structure compared to these Thailand bees. Maybe same – but I don’t think so.

      Thanks for writing!

      1. I just found one of these dormant in my garage here in Sacramento, California. I took several pictures before putting it outside. Looks like the same bee to me. I’m happy to share the photos for you to compare.

  5. Hello there!

    I watched your video and saw how difficult it was to grab big blacky…I have them hanging around my garden, they collect pollen from my flowers, especially the passion fruit flowers.
    I’ve stood there watching the creatures walk under the stamen of the flowers and collect pollen on their backs…they like to flirt with us humans and fly right by our heads! I’ve already poked a few of them on their behinds while they collect pollen right before my eyes, but am kind of uneasy to try holding them!
    Thanks for sharing,
    Esperança Melo

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