zombie bees

Science
8:27 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Newly detected parasite turns Northwest honey bees into 'zombees'

A "zombie fly" (Apocephalus borealis) lays its eggs inside a honey bee. Photo courtesy SFSU

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 4:41 pm

There's more trouble for your hard-working backyard honey bee. Researchers have confirmed the first cases of "zombee" bees in Washington state and in the Portland area. Infection by a parasite prompts the bees to embark on what's being called a "flight of the living dead."

The initial Washington detection came from an observant beekeeper in the Seattle suburb of Kent.

"The odd thing is they're attracted to light. Bees normally aren't attracted to light. And they're flying at night. Bees don't normally fly at night," says Mark Hohn. He keeps bees as a hobby.

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