Sunday, May 31, 2015

ZomBee Apocalypse

One night ~ 11:30PM  I did a quick visit to inspect the hive after a long hot day. No big deal as it is ~15 ft from the back porch. They were bearding out front the hive and I was holding a flashlight to see. Bees randomly kept buzzing my flash light, then passing me to the porch light, like crazy moths - I just watched...  Then I remembered.

Some time ago I was reading the website ZomBee Watch. It was about how a fly is parasitizing honey bees in California and possibly other areas of North America. The parasite (Zombie Fly Apocephalus borealis) affect the bees by eating their brains and make them act like zombies or "ZomBees". They act funny at night and fly towards the light incessantly until they die. Then a few weeks later a larvae emerges from their bodies, sometimes popping off their heads, (I read somwhere) to eventually pupate into a fly. The resulting female fly will go out and find new bees to "stab".

Ahhhh, I said, OMG I got Zombees! Where is that website?

So, I joined ZomBee Watch, and became ZomBee hunter! [cue: Raiders of the Lost Ark music] It is a citizen science project to collect samples and report results. In some cases if you do have ZomBees, you may have to send in samples.

Stay tuned.

PS- Vermont now has them.

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