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The buzzing dead: 'Zombie bees' in Washington

NEED TO KNOW
  • Tiny flies lay eggs in living bees
  • Website is tracking the infestation

An amateur beekeeper in Kent, Washington, just south of Seattle, is the first to report zombie bees in his state.

They're not un-dead.  In fact, scientists call them zombie bees because of their weird behavior just before they die. They lurch around after dark and congregate around a light source.  And unlike the ghouls on "The Walking Dead" that can only be stopped with a brain-destroying blow to the noggin, the infected bees definitely do die all on their own.  But it is a pretty gruesome death.  The bees are basically eaten alive from the inside by the larvae of tiny flies that inject their eggs into their unsuspecting hosts. 

It's really less like "The Walking Dead" and more like "Alien."

But, not to worry... the flies don't bother with humans.

According to ZombeeWatch.org, there are reports of infestations like this in 9 states.  California appears to be hit the hardest.

The bee population has been plummeting due to what's come to be known as Colony Collapse Disorder.  No one is certain what causes these sudden mass deaths in some bee hives, however, the parasites causing ‘zom-bee-fication’ appear to be a separate threat.

 

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