1st 'zombie' bees on East Coast found in Vt. (Update)

January 28, 2014

Vermont beekeepers say they face mite infestations, extreme temperature swings and the possibility of colony collapse. But a San Francisco State University professor says a new threat has arrived in Vermont: zombie bees.

Beekeeper Anthony Cantrell says he discovered the bees infected by a parasitic fly in his hive in October. Professor John Hafernik says they're the first of the zombie bees identified on the East Coast.

Hafernik says that a fly attaches itself to the bee and injects its eggs, which grow inside the bee. Hafernik says this is presumed to cause neurological damage resulting in erratic, jerky movement and night activity, "like a zombie."

Vermont Agricultural Production Specialist Stephen Parise says they are not sure if Cantrell's bees are an isolated occurrence.

Explore further: Washington state's first 'zombie bees' reported

Related Stories

Deadly fly parasite spotted for first time in honey bees

January 3, 2012

Honey bees can become the unwitting hosts of a fly parasite that causes them to abandon their hives and die after a bout of disoriented, "zombie-like" behavior, San Francisco State University researchers have found.

Biologists tag 'zombees' to track their flight

September 6, 2012

After last year's accidental discovery of "zombie"-like bees infected with a fly parasite, SF State researchers are conducting an elaborate experiment to learn more about the plight of the honey bees.

Citizen scientists needed for SF State's 'ZomBee Watch'

July 24, 2012

The San Francisco State University researchers who accidentally discovered "zombie-like" bees infected with a deadly fly parasite want people across the United States and Canada to look for similar bees in their own backyards.

Bee sensors take flight to help farmers

January 15, 2014

Thousands of honey bees in Australia are being fitted with tiny sensors as part of a world-first research program to monitor the insects and their environment using a technique known as 'swarm sensing'.

Recommended for you

Mice can smell oxygen

December 2, 2016

The genome of mice harbours more than 1000 odorant receptor genes, which enable them to smell myriad odours in their surroundings. Researchers at the Max Planck Research Unit for Neurogenetics in Frankfurt, the University ...

How single-celled organisms navigate to oxygen

December 2, 2016

A team of researchers has discovered that tiny clusters of single-celled organisms that inhabit the world's oceans and lakes, are capable of navigating their way to oxygen. Writing in e-Life scientists at the University ...

Natural nomads, leatherback turtles opt to stay in place

December 2, 2016

Endangered leatherback sea turtles are known for their open-ocean migratory nature and nomadic foraging habits – traveling thousands of miles. But a Cornell naturalist and his colleagues have discovered an area along the ...

Neural stem cells serve as RNA highways too

December 1, 2016

Duke University scientists have caught the first glimpse of molecules shuttling along a sort of highway running the length of neural stem cells, which are crucial to the development of new neurons.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

jsdarkdestruction
5 / 5 (1) Jan 28, 2014
what a thorough article.....(sarcasm) I had hoped I might learn something.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.