|A parasitic fly landing on a honeybee. |
Courtesy of Christopher Quock
In 2008 the parasitoid Phorid fly, Apocephlus borealis otherwise known as the Zombie Fly started killing honey bee's. It is unsure why they made the jump from their usual hosts paper wasps and bumble bees.
Eggs are laid in the living bees. In the middle of the night the bees leave the hive and fly to lights. They end up crashing, staggering to their death. The full-grown larvae emerges and form pupae. Eventually adults emerge, mate and continue the cycle all over again.
The first 2014 report came through of a "Zombie" honey bee specimen in the Shoreline, WA area on March 10th. It's still not known how this parasitoid will affect the overall honey bee population. What we do know is the honey bee can't afford anything else attacking its population.
Learn more about the spread of the Zombie Fly by checking out Dr. Hafernik's "Zom-bee Watch" website.
Check the bees in your area! Look for dying bees at night by lights and put them in a ziplock bag. If they are infested, maggots will soon emerge. Report any positive findings to the "Zom-bee Watch" website.