Parasite Turns Bees into Zombies

Parasite Turns Bees into Zombies

It is a real-life nightmare! New evidence purported by scientists claims that a parasite may transform a regular honey bee into a zombie-like creature.

“We’re not making a case that this is the doomsday bug for bees,” Biology Professor John Hafernik of San Francisco State University tells CBS News. “But it is certainly an interesting situation where we have a parasite that seems to affect the behavior of bees and has them essentially abandoning their hive.”

The parasitic fly (Apocephalus borealis) is said to attack its host by drilling into the hone bee’s abdomen. There, it lays eggs. Once these eggs hatch, the parasite is said to feed off of the muscles and internal tissue of the honey bee.

While scientists have been struggling to find a definitive answer to the quandary of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), scientists and apiary officials believe this parasite, along with a string of other issues, may all working in tandem to kill vast numbers of honey bees.

In 2012, Professor Hafernik began tracking where ‘zombie bees’ were concentrated. While many cases were documented along the West Coast of the United States, incidents of hives suffering this abnormality have spread eastward.

According to sources, in Hafernik’s program aptly named ‘ZomBee Watch,’ participants are asked to take photographs of pupae and larvae throughout its metamorphism.

According to CBS news, there have been approximately 100 cases discovered.

For more information, visit CBS News. 

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