'Zombie'? More Like "Alien" For Bees
    By Hank Campbell | September 26th 2012 05:00 AM | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    A parasite that caused bees to lurch around like, well, zombies, and fly at night until they die has been found in Washington State.
     
    Colony Collapse Disorder, in which all the adult honey bees in a colony suddenly die, has already been causing bee populations to drop. Such zombies were first discovered in California in 2008 by San Francisco State University biologist John Hafernik who now runs a website ZombeeWatch.org that is aided by a network of citizen scientists to help determine how widespread the parasite is and whether it is contributing to the demise of bee colonies across the country.

    The fly's life cycle is gruesomely reminiscent of the movie "Alien" if it were made by bees. Adult females, smaller than a fruit fly, land on the backs of foraging honeybees and use their needle-sharp ovipositors to inject eggs into the bee's abdomen. The eggs hatch into maggots. "They basically eat the insides out of the bee," Hafernik said.



    State's first case of 'zombie bees' reported in Kent by Sandi Doughton, Seattle Times