"I joke with my kids that the zombie apocalypse is starting at my house," said novice beekeeper [Mark Hohn]. The dead and dying honeybees from Hohn's 1.25-acre spread in Kent are the first in Washington confirmed to be infected by a parasitic fly that causes the bees to lurch around erratically before dropping dead....
The fly's life cycle is gruesomely reminiscent of the movie "Alien" — though they don't pose a risk to people. 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.
After consuming their host, the maggots pupate, forming a hard outer shell that looks like a fat, brown grain of rice. When Hohn looked in his Ziploc bag a week later, he saw several pupae — the smoking gun evidence that his bees were infected. He's still waiting for the first adult flies to emerge from the shells, a process that takes three to four weeks.
Monday, September 24, 2012
MAY I HAVE THE ENTYMOLOGY, PLEASE? So-called "zombie bees" have been spotted in Washington state:
Posted by Adam at 5:27 PM