Parasitic Fly Turning Honeybees Into "Zombies" [Video]

H. Scott English

Parasitic flies are the new found culprit of what many researchers are calling "Colony Collapse Disorder" among honey bees. Honey bees are one of the most helpful insects on Earth as the pollinate a lot of crops that scientists have been unable to do in an artificial way such as grapes, avocados and soybeans.

The discovery of the parasitic fly was accomplished by John Hafernik, a biology professor at San Francisco State University. He had collected a group of belly up bees that he found near a light source on campus. After forgetting about the samples he returned to later discover that the test tubes were loaded with baby flies.

He put together a team from the University and through an investigation found out that more than 77% of the honey bees colonies in the Bay Area had some level of penetration by the fly.

The fly works like this. It lands on a honey bee and injects its eggs into the bees abdomen. The fly larvae eat what they find there and then start to grow. Soon the bee gets the urge to leave the hive, mostly in the middle of the night.

From this last flight it will never return.

Bees cannot see so well so a lot of their bodies are found near light sources.

The ones who have not yet died are walking on the ground in circles as if they have no idea where they are going. After, the fly has eaten the contents of the bee's body it pops out of their neck and leaves to grow wings and find another bee to infect.

Scientists have said the wandering bees walk around like zombies.

This could prove to be a very significant discovery in why bees are dying. Albert Einstein said that if the bees disappear, man will only have four years of life left. I hope he isn't right.

Watch this video of Bill Maher talking about Colony Collapse Disorder.