Zombees: Fly parasite killing honeybees

Bee (insect)

Researchers at San Francisco University have found a potential new threat facing honeybees in the bay area. It's a fly parasite that preys on native bees and wasps. No, not the "wasps" you are thinking about.

This could be a serious problem for California’s agricultural industry.

The fly jumps on the back of the bee and inserts its eggs in between the bee's abdomen. Soon, the maggots hatch inside the bee and start eating the innards of the bee.

Sounds appetizing doesn't it?

At some point that alters the bee's behavior. The bee abandons the hive at night in what researchers call the "flight of the living dead". Bees are often disoriented, walking around in circles, almost as if they're drunken bees and then they die.

Scientists are still studying what kind of impact this parasite will have on honey production, but they say there's no reason to panic. In the meantime, perhaps they could just get the confused bees some GPS’s. 

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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