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Zombie Bees Reported in Washington

Pest News

The Seattle Times has reported that zombie bees have been found in Washington State. Novice beekeeper Mark Hohn first spotted the infected bees after returning home from vacation. After confirming the infection Hohn said, “I joke with my kids that the zombie apocalypse is starting at my house.”

Zombie bees were first discovered in 2008 by San Francisco State University biologist John Hafernik. The name comes from a parasitic infection that causes bees to leave their hives at night and fly in jerky patterns until they die. Adult female flies inject eggs into the bee’s abdomen,and the eggs hatch into maggots. “They basically eat the insides out of the bee,” Hafernik said. The maggots then pupate, forming an outer shell that looks like a fat brown grain of rice. Three to four weeks later adult flies emerge.

The flies have not yet been cited as a major contributing factor to Colony Collapse Disorder. For the full story, visit SeattleTimes.com.

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