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

Jan 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: New England Aquarium offering penguins 'honeymoon suites'

Related Stories

Deadly fly parasite spotted for first time in honey bees

Jan 03, 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 ...

Biologists tag 'zombees' to track their flight

Sep 06, 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'

Jul 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 ...

Bee sensors take flight to help farmers

Jan 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

Telling the time of day by color

Apr 17, 2015

Research by scientists at The University of Manchester has revealed that the colour of light has a major impact on how the brain clock measures time of day and on how the animals' physiology and behavior adjust accordingly. ...

Aphrodisiac for fish and frogs discovered

Apr 17, 2015

A supplement simply added to water has been shown to boost reproduction in nematodes (roundworms), molluscs, fish and frogs – and researchers believe it could work for humans too.

Evolution puts checks on virgin births

Apr 17, 2015

It seems unnatural that a species could survive without having sex. Yet over the ages, evolution has endowed females of certain species of amphibians, reptiles and fish with the ability to clone themselves, ...

Humans can't resist those puppy-dog eyes

Apr 16, 2015

When humans and their four-legged, furry best friends look into one another's eyes, there is biological evidence that their bond strengthens, researchers report.

User comments : 1

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.