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Fly parasite turns honeybees into zom-bees

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posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 05:32 AM
This article is from MSNBC and can be found here,
"If deadly viruses and fungi weren't enough, honeybees in North America now must also deal with a fly parasite that causes them to leave their hive and die after wandering about in a zombie-like stupor, a new study shows. Scientists previously found that the parasitic fly, Apocephalus borealis, infects and ultimately kills bumblebees and paper wasps, while the "decapitating fly," an insect in the same genus, implants its eggs in ants, whose heads then pop off after the fly larvae devour the ants' brains and dissolve their connective tissues. Now researchers have discovered honeybees parasitized by A. borealis in 24 of 31 sites across the San Francisco Bay area, as well as other commercial hives in California and South Dakota... Understanding causes of the hive abandonment behavior we document could explain symptoms associated with CCD," the researchers write in their study, published today (Jan. 3) in the journal PLoS One.
The female A. borealis flies will inject their eggs into a honeybee's abdomen soon after coming into contact with the bee, the researchers saw in their laboratory. About seven days later, up to 25 mature fly larvae emerge from the area between the bee's head and thorax. In the wild, no more than 13 larvae were observed busting from a single honeybee.
Core and his colleagues found that the honeybees most likely to become infected by the parasite were the ones that left their hives to forage at night, rather than the daytime foragers. The researchers also discovered fly pupae near dead bees at the bottom of their laboratory hive, suggesting that A. borealis can multiply within a hive and potentially infect a pregnant queen bee."

Essentially, fewer bees mean fewer pollinated food sources and flowers. Additionally, if these parasites end up in human hosts (by consuming the honey), is it possible that people could suffer the same demise.
I remember the time when it was (falsely) proclaimed that people couldn't get heart worms ( ) and not to worry about the bird flu.

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 05:37 AM
Zombee... Zombie... Clever.
Perhaps this was the cause of the bee die off.

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 05:51 AM
Reminds me of the zombie ant story from not too long ago, where this fungus would control the ant's nervous system to make it move to a prime location for replicating, then kills the ant and the fungus sprouts out of the ant's head.

edit on 1/4/2012 by martianmallow because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 05:53 AM

Originally posted by LonelyGuy
Zombee... Zombie... Clever.
Perhaps this was the cause of the bee die off.

Reminds me of the tabloids here in the uk..

Maybe they want to us to believe this is the cause rather than pesticides or GM crops or any of the other man made things which have decimated these colonies..

This parasite is something that comes from nature... Generally nature has a fine way of keeping everything balance until we come along and screw t up..

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 06:00 AM
lucky my boyfriend is sleeping,,,,he freaks out when he see's a bee or even talk about it.

there is a nature center here with bee hives and the information center said the honey bee population has droped in numbers and thats not good.

also never throw a rock at a hive.or agitate them I guess also...

i wonder if they might sting more when in this zombi state.,


posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 06:13 AM
Existing thread here:

Please add further comments, queries or concerns to the ongoing discussion.

Thank you

-thread closed-

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