SciSun: Zombees are HERE!   Leave a comment

Bees are our friends. Not Zombies; they don’t care about anything other than wondering around and moaning (reminds me of some kids I went to school with); but Zom-BEES – normal, hardworking honey bees (Apis sp.) that are being taken over by parasites and forced to do things they normally wouldn’t do – like fly around without purpose until they’re exhausted, or fly into bright lights until they’re stunned and fall to the ground. The parasite is a specific type of tiny fly that lays eggs on the bee. When the eggs hatch, the even-more-tiny fly larvae live inside the bee until they’ve grown too large – and then the parasite eats its way – FROM THE INSIDE OUT – of the poor bee, who obviously dies. Just like those sci-fi aliens who burst out of people when the only thing the poor guy was complaining of was an upset stomach.

While the fly larvae are inside the bee, they can make the bee do things bees normally wouldn’t do, like leave the hive without a reason, and fly until exhausted, and basically kill themselves so the larvae will have an easier life. Scientists have just learned about this parasite, so no one knows why, or how, the flies create these zom-bees. Of course this is bad news for the bees, but it is also really bad news for plants, and other animals, and the environment, and us. People depend on bees, as well as other other small insects, and birds, and bats, to pollinate virtually all of the fruits and vegetables we eat. Without bees, it will be harder and harder, and much more expensive, to find apples and oranges and grapes and berries and watermelon and roses and daisies and other flowers and….just about anything else that grows. And what about the other animals that eat those fruits and vegetables in the wild? There won’t be enough for them, either.

Honeybee WIKI

“Great, the Flashmob was set for noon, and I’m the only one who practiced.”

For years the number of honeybees has been declining and this has many people concerned. It certainly seems like these parasites are part of the problem. Right now scientists have only found the parasite flies in a few locations, but they might be spreading, or could already be in other areas. We’ll let you know what new information the scientists learn. For now, you can help by watching for any bees that are acting strangely (like bees with larvae crawling on them, or bees doing the moves to ‘Thriller’) and reporting what you see to a teacher, adult, or post a message. But never try to touch or pick up any bees! The parasite flies can’t hurt people, but bees could always sting.

http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2012/sep/osu-finds-oregons-first-honeybee-infected-zombie-fly

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/09/120912-zombie-bees-tagged-science-zombies-zombees/

^^^

Michonne Says:  I’ve never seen a Zom-bee. But I have seen Buzz-bees, and Flower-bees, and Busy-bees.  And I know you should never eat a flower when there’s a bee inside.

Posted November 4, 2012 by ECOVIA eco-adventure® in SciSun

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