'Zombie bees' sighted in Northeast

By Rebecca Walezak,

The “zombie bee” has made an appearance in the Northeast region of the U.S.

These mutant bees are simple honeybees that have been infested with parasites, specifically a fly called the Apocephalus borealis, which latches onto the bees, laying eggs that will eventually hatch. This causes unusual behavior until, eventually, the host bee is killed.

According to ABC News, this is the first sighting of the bees anywhere east of South Dakota. Since the bees were originally discovered in California back in 2008, there have been other cases in Oregon, Washington, and South Dakota.

Beekeepers should be aware and concerned about the return of these bees, the New York Daily News reports. If the flies are able to hatch within a hive, there could be damaging affects to the honey.

Fortunately, this Northeast sighting has only happened in one Vermont home, no other cases have been reported at this time. Steve Parise, a Vermont agricultural specialist, has stated that there is no indication of a widespread invasion.

image: Wikimedia Commons

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