Brainwashed Bees

By Brian Brown

Some of you might have heard about the “ZomBee” project, both at our museum and perhaps at its source. It appears that honey bees parasitized by a phorid fly called Apocephalus borealis change their behavior and fly to lights in the evening. I witnessed this phenomenon myself in Pasadena a couple of nights ago, where dozens of bees were circling a porchlight and crawling on the side of a house at 8pm.

Apocephalus borealis, the "zombie fly"

Apocephalus borealis, the “zombie fly”

This is just a reminder that if you see or hear about this type of abnormal bee behavior, please let us know so we can investigate.

 

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