Help Stop Zombie Apocalypse: Join Zombee Watch!
The zombie apocalypse has started! AAAaaaaaAAAAaaaahhhhh!
Okay… take a deep breath… no need to panic. No human zombies are walking around, but honeybees around the United States are acting strangely…
A deadly parasite, known as the Apocephalus borealis fly, seems to be causing some big problems for honeybees, as seen in the photo below:
How the Bees Turn Zombie: A female parasitic fly injects her eggs into a honeybee’s body. Not long after, the bee starts acting like a zombie; it flies around at night, and it stumbles and walks in circles. A few days later, the bee dies… and then a nasty little fly maggot crawls out of the bee’s neck. Gross!
How You Can Help: Scientists are trying to find out more about the parasitic fly and how it affects bees. They’ve even begun attaching little radio transmitters to infected bees in order to observe the insect’s zombie behavior. However, researchers don’t know how widespread this problem is. That’s where you come in!
If you find any bees that are possibly infected (live insects acting strange, or dead bees that seem to have experienced strange deaths), then you must help! The project, called ZomBee Watch, wants you to become zombee hunters and help them figure out the location of the next outbreak. Simply put the honeybee into a resealable container (be safe – use tweezers so you don’t get stung) and watch it for a few days. Next, submit the results to the ZomBee Watch website. Did any maggots or fly pupae emerge from the dead bee? Was your bee uninfected?