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.