Zombie Bees

More bad news: a deadly fly parasite was spotted for the first time on honey bees, reported researchers at San Francisco State University in 2012.  The fly, Apocephalus borealis, deposits its eggs into a bee’s abdomen. After the honey bee dies, fly larvae “push their way into the world from between the bee’s head and thorax”.  (I hope you’re not eating breakfast right now.) After the parasitic fly has laid those eggs, the bees abandon their hives in “a flight of the living dead” and hang out near lights. See if you are following this: bad fly lays eggs in honey bee’s bottom, which hatch into worms, which creep out from inside the bee, which is driven mad and flies off with the parasites at night to hang out under street lamps. These zombie bees frequently carry the deformed wing virus and Nosema ceranae fungus, according to John Hafernik, Andrew Core, and Geraldine Lindsay, who have been studying this phenomenon. There are a number of unanswered questions about the parasites and the affected bees, so the researchers say they will radio-tag the bees and use video cameras to monitor them in their next round of study.

About Ron Miksha

Ron Miksha is a geophysicist who also does a bit of science writing and blogging. Ron has worked as a radio broadcaster, a beekeeper, and is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He has written two books, dozens of magazine and journal articles, and complements his first book, Bad Beekeeping, with a popular blog at www.badbeekeeping.com. Ron wrote his most recent book, The Mountain Mystery, for everyone who has looked at a mountain and wondered what miracles of nature set it upon the landscape. For more about Ron, including some cool pictures taken when he was a teenager, please check Ron's site: miksha.com.
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One Response to Zombie Bees

  1. Pingback: Zombees in Canada | Bad Beekeeping Blog

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