New research suggests that a body-snatching parasitic fly might be the culbrit in the decline of the honeybee population in the U.S.


Alien on Earth: New research suggests that a body-snatching parasitic fly might be the culprit in the decline of the honeybee population in the U.S.

The parasitic fly lays eggs in a bee’s abdomen. Several days later, the parasitized bee bumbles out of the hives—often at night—on a solo mission to nowhere. These bees often fly toward light and wind up unable to control their own bodies. After a bee dies, as many as 13 fly larvae crawl out from the bee’s neck. The bees’ behavior seems similar to that of ants that are parasitized—and then decapitated from within—by other fly larvae from the Apocephalus genus.

One comment

  • taka

    Hopefully they can devise some sort of treatment to curtail these parasites. Genetically engineered parasites that don’t reproduce would be a good start (as long as it can’t pass to predators of these parasites).

    Mobile bee hives is a great idea, but I would think we can’t do that enough to make up for large collapses in the bee population, just local collapses.

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