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Here's some real-life sci-fi for you: A parasite that lays eggs in honey bees' abdomens and causes them to stumble around in a zombie-like death march is the latest suspect in the colony collapse disorder that's killing hives around the world. The horror continues about a week after the bees die and the larvae wriggle out like miniature aliens.
San Francisco State University biologist John Hafernik happened upon the ghoulish parasites after collecting bees to feed a praying mantis. First, fly pupae emerged in the vial where he was keeping the bees, then the bees started lurching around, falling over and dying. Hafernik's research revealed that the same parasites, identified as Apocephalus borealis, are killing bumblebees, too.
The discovery likely won't solve the disastrous decline in the pollinator populations we rely on for crop production. Experts think the zombie parasites are just one of many things killing bees. Other culprits include different parasites, infections, pesticides and habitat loss.


Austin Bailey

Austin Bailey is a writer and editor for Heifer's World Ark magazine.