'Zombie Bees' Turn Up in Washington State
Parasite makes them fly at night before dying
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2012 5:58 PM CDT
This is a non-zombie bee in New York state.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

(Newser) – Maybe the only positive thing in this story from the Seattle Times is that the name "zombie bees" is sure to draw attention to the problem. A local beekeeper has found Washington state's first documented case of the "zombie bees," which refers to a deadly parasite infecting the insects. It causes them to fly erratically at night, often around lights, before dying. The infections are widespread in western California since being discovered there in 2008, and lesser cases have been reported in Oregon and South Dakota. (Only one in the latter.)

"I joke with my kids that the zombie apocalypse is starting at my house," the beekeeper tells the newspaper. The problem is a parasitic fly that that lays its eggs inside the bee. It remains unclear what, if any, role the parasite is playing in the decline of bee colonies nationwide, but this website has been set up to track cases and provide information.

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Showing 3 of 28 comments
Nov 28, 2012 5:48 AM CST
Our child had a fear of bees. He had also watched a Zombie film and eventually found out about Zombie Bees. This had caused a much heightened fear of bees. This site was really helpful though. Fear of Bees in Children Jane.
Sep 28, 2012 5:33 PM CDT
I believe what is causing a decline in your bees, is the radio waves surrounding most in the USA. I further more believe people in electronics are in the know about it but are keeping their mouths shut.
Sep 26, 2012 12:08 PM CDT
Zombie bees! What next in Washington state.