Parasite turns honey bees into zombies
A fly parasite is being blamed for an epidemic that has struck the honey bee population around the world. The parasite nests in the stomach of the bees and causes them to walk in circles, sometimes pursuing bright lights, before eventually dying.
The Parasitic Phorid Fly Apocephalus borealis is responsible for the zombie transformation, laying its eggs inside the abdomen of the honey bee.
“When we observed the bees for some time, the ones that were alive, we found that they walked around in circles, often with no sense of direction,” said San Francisco State University’s Andrew Core lead author on the bee parasite study in the journal Plos One.
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