The so-called zombie bees may stumble through the air but the truth behind their condition is probably more horrifying than any episode of The Walking Dead.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, bees have been dying in great numbers all over the world and some people have already started warning about what a world without bees might look like. Some studies claim the neonicotinoids used in agriculture may be causing brain damage to bees, leading to the collapse of entire bee colonies.
John Hafernik, a professor of biology at San Francisco State University, says the zombie bees earned the nickname due to the way they fly:
“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. Sometimes we’ve taken to calling [it], when they leave their hives, ‘the flight of the living dead.'”
So why are these shambling bees behaving so oddly? It turns out we have to add another SciFi horror movie to the mix. It turns out the zombie bees are infected by a fly called Apocephalus borealis, which injects eggs into the bodies of the bees similar to how the alien facehuggers work in the movies. And just like the movies these eggs hatch inside their host bodies but instead of killing the bees instantly they cause the zombie-like behavior until the host eventually perishes after about five minutes.
This type of parasite was discovered in the 1920’s but this is the first time that honeybees have known to be effected. The good news is that zombie bees are hoped to not spread too far into the United States. The bad news is that these so-called zombees were discovered by beekeeper Anthony Cantrell of Burlington, Vermont just this past October. This means the bee plague has spread from the west coast to the east, infecting California, Washington, Oregon, South Dakota, and now Vermont.
And experts aren’t sure if the zombie bees are an isolated even or a portent of worse to come:
“It is seemingly kind of Biblical here. We’re getting every conceivable kind of plague.”
What do you think might be causing the rise of the zombee?