05 Jan '12, 7pm

Parasitic flies are infesting honeybee's stomachs and controlling their brains. Say whaaat?

We've been concerned for a while about colony collapse disorder, which has been decimating honeybee populations. The disorder is of uncertain origin, though there's some evidence linking it to pesticides; there's also evidence for viruses, fungi, and mites, or maybe it's all of them. And now scientists are investigating the possibility that it's caused by parasitic flies turning bees into zombies . The fly in question, Apocephalus borealis , was known to parasitize wasps but not honeybees. Now, though, it appears that the parasite affects honeybees, with basically the same mechanism: It climbs into their stomachs and controls their brains. The parasitic fly lays eggs in a bee’s abdomen. Several days later, the parasitized bee bumbles out of the hives—often at night—on a solo mission to nowhere. These bees often fly toward light and wind up unable to control their own bodie...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2012-01-05-zombie-bees

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As if bees aren't facing enough challenges. Now they have to resist suicidal Zombees! #bees #ccd

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