Let’s learn about the so called ‘ZomBee’. This is some next level stuff right here.
When Sarah Wallbank, a new beekeeper out of Nanaimo, BC noticed her bees were acting a little strange back in June, she took action to figure out what was wrong with them.
What she did was record and send photos to a citizen science project that goes by the name ZomBee Watch. They track infected bees all across North America. Low and behold, according to the ZomBee Watch team, Wallbank’s honeybees were in fact confirmed to have been infected by the parasite of the phorid fly, who informed Wallbank of this in late-July.
What’s with this tiny fly?
The phorid fly is a very minuscule fly that, for some reason or another, likes to lay eggs inside the bodies of honeybees. Why? I’m not sure.
But once the phorid fly lays its eggs, those eggs eventually hatch inside of the honeybee, and what they become, is maggots. These maggots then slowly eat the inside of the honeybees tissue, therefore eventually killing the bee slowly.
In fact, out of the larvae (maggots), you will oftentimes get flies that emerge from the honeybee’s body once dead.
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This is some really messed up stuff.
At least 42 larvae had crawled out of the bee corpses, then out of those 42 pupae, 23 flies emerged.National Post
What exactly is happening to the infected bees?
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When honeybees are infected by this parasite, they begin to act strangely. Healthy bees fly during the day, and stay in their hives at night. So, if you see honeybees flying around lights at night, there’s a good chance they are infected. They stagger around and crawl around in circles.
They are doing this because a tiny fly called the Apocephalus borealis has laid its eggs inside the bee. When the eggs hatch, the fly’s larvae (maggots), eat the bee from the inside out, slowly paralyzing the bee.
We need to save our honeybees. They are an absolutely crucial part of the food chain.
This article was written by Jody Mitoma.