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Yes, zombee.  Yes, I did spell that correctly.  For I talk of zombified bees.  A zombee.

Here, read this.

Honeybees have been dying off for awhile now and there have been a lot of theories as to why that’s been happening.  Well, here’s another one.  They’re becoming zombies.  Or zombees.

Honeybees have been observed behaving in weird, zombie-like ways, like wandering off at night and walking around in circles (and crawling into people’s ears to get at their brains…ok, not really).  The reason for this is because of…A PARASITE!  Yes, it’s another one of those zombifying parasites.  I would link you to all the other posts I’ve written about zombifying parasites, but I’m too lazy to look through my archives right now.  But if you click on the “zombies” tag, you’ll probably find a fair amount of them.

Interestingly enough, no one has observed this particular fly attacking honeybees before and it is likely part of the cause of the mass bee die-offs.  So then, scientists need your help to study the zombees and they are enlisting the whole of the US to aid them!

There is a citizen science project over at zombeewatch.org where you can join said project and collect (dead or dying) honeybees for observation.  After you gather all these honeybees, you just need to observe them from time to time to see if any fly pupae hatch from those bees.  You report your findings to the site and a TEAM OF SCIENTISTS can sort through the data you have collected and get to sciencing (which I assume is their superpower).

It sounds pretty interesting and I’ve found some bees wandering around my yard at night recently.  They say that parasitism in California starts in June and peaks in fall to winter.  I guess this is prime time for me to be out collecting and observing bees.  Maybe I will.  Maybe you should too.  And together, we can stave off the zombee apocalypse (which really would be a good thing, not just for our brains, but for all the crops that depend on pollination by honeybee, nod).

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2 Comments

  1. Zombee needs illustration. Please fix.


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