by Tara Green
(NaturalNews) Researchers at a California university have found a parasitic fly which causes honeybees to become disoriented and abandon their hives before dying, behavior which made one of the researchers compare them to zombies. Scientists believe this may be a contributing factor to Colony Collapse Disorder, which has decimated honeybee populations, affecting the honey market and the pollination of crops as well as raising concern about environmental toxins.
The insect version of a horror movie
The parasitic flies were discovered by chance when John Hafernik, professor of biology at San Francisco State University, collected some dead bees, found under a light on campus, as food for a praying mantis he had just captured. "Being an absent-minded professor, I left them in a vial on my desk and forgot about them. Then the next time I looked at the vial, there were all these fly pupae surrounding the bees."
The flies were later identified as Apocephalus borealis. The female A. borealis fly deposits its eggs into the bee's abdomen, and about a week later, mature fly larvae emerge from the host's head and thorax.… Read the rest