Vermont Seeing Something Unusual Happening to its Bees
Apocephalus borealis has stated infecting honey bees in Vermont, a state famous for its maple syrup. The fly lays eggs inside the bees and the infected bees start showing zombie-like behavior and are finally killed. The zombie epidemic is not new and has been observed earlier in the United States.
In Vermont, honey bees, yellow jackets and bumblebees are found to be infected with the larva of the fly, thereby indicating that zombees are moving towards east.
The bees show erratic, jerky movements when the fly's egg is implanted in its body. Another indication of being infected by zombie is that bees become more active at night than in day.
The movement of the zombees towards east is worrying bee keepers and researchers as the plague will have negative effect on the population of bees. Apart for fiving honey, bees also play an important role in spreading pollen between plants of all kinds. Bees even ensure genetic diversity among plant species, which is essential in keeping them healthy.
"They fly around in a disoriented way, get attracted to light, and then fall down and wander around in a way that's sort of reminiscent of zombies in the movies", says said John Hafernik, a professor of biology at San Francisco State University. It is considered that a third of bee colonies are infected by zombees on the West Coast.
A website ZomBeeWatch, run by Hafernik and some of his colleagues, shows a map of the known locations of bee colonies, which are infected by the Apocephalus borealis fly zombie syndrome.
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