Are You Ready For the Zom-Bee Apocalypse?
Apparently the zombie apocalypse is upon us. Not the way it is pictured in the movies, but scary enough, just the same.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that the bees that are responsible for pollinating our food have been dying. Most scientist think pesticides designed to keep food crops bug-free are responsible. But they have also seen another, strange and unusual thing happening to bees in certain areas. They are being possessed. Seriously.
A North American fly species, apocephalus borealis has been inhabiting the bodies of honey bees, bumble bees and paper wasps, killing them and using their bodies as host for their own use, an incubator for their offspring. You just can’t make this stuff up.
Apparently the female flies attack and pursue the bees until they land on their abdomens and inject their eggs inside the bees. Then the flies’ larvae attack the brains of the bees and they become disoriented, flying in circles, falling over when they try to stand. Some of them were only coming out at night and in inclement weather, times when bees are usually tucked safely away in their hives. All of this kills the bee but is great for the fly’s survival.
It all started a few years ago when a biology professor at San Francisco State University noticed bees acting strange, flying erratically and then dying. He collected some of the dead bees and witnessed the fly larvae crawling out of them. After investigating hives all around the area this professor and his colleagues found that more than three quarters of them were infected with this parasite.
At that time there were only a handful of areas that were affected, but the parasite has been spreading. The researchers have set up a website: www.zombeewatch.org so anyone, anywhere that thinks they may have spotted zombie bees in their area can report it, send in the bees for analysis and help them find a solution to this sci-fi-ish problem.
The zombie bees may not be inhabiting human bodies, but it’s as scary as if they were. If there are no bees to pollinate the crops, food will be at a premium and that will mean disaster for the human race. Let’s hope those researchers can do something about it before that happens so we can keep science fiction just that, fiction.