This is a fascinating story about yet another new problem for honeybees in the U.S. 

Washington state’s first ‘zombie bees’ reported; parasite causes bees to fly erratically, die

It turns out that there is a spreading problem of the parasitic takeover of bees by a species of indigenous fly, Apocephalus borealis, which lays eggs in a bees abdomen which in turn hatch into larvae that control the bees behavior.  The bees fly at night, which is very irregular, and then die as the larvae eat them from the inside.  Perhaps inevitably, the bees under this parasitic control get called "zombie bees".  There is a project sponsored by San Francisco State University to track these zombies.

I am planning on checking our bees on campus to see if we can find any evidence of infection.

This type of behavioral control via parasites has been getting a lot of intention recently.  There was that McAuliffe piece in the Atlantic over the summer that revealed how toxoplasmosis controls a huge range of human behavior (maybe even yours?...)




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