Zombie Bees

 In Blog, Homeowner Tips, Pest Identification
A robberfly with its prey, a hoverfly. Insecti...

A robberfly with its prey, a hoverfly. Insectivorous relationships such as these help control insect populations. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The northeastern half of the United States is beginning to see a surge in “zombie bee” populations. These bees have been infected with parasites that make them act out of character and then spontaneously die, and that have been spreading to bee colonies all over the country.

New England Zombie Bees

First seen on the West Coast of the United States, zombie bees are increasing in numbers in New England. The parasite known to cause their behavior and ultimate demise is a serious threat to bee species. This parasite attaches itself to bees and lays eggs inside of them. The bees then hatch these eggs, an involuntarily infecting them with the a debilitating virus in the process.

Honeybee populations have begin to decline recently, in part due to these parasites. Unfortunately scientists have yet to discover is how to prevent the spread of these parasites or how to best handle bees that have been infested.

The Benefits of Bees

Humans are the first to admit that they would rather distance themselves from bees altogether. However, what many do not realize is that bees contribute immensely to human survival. Not only do they act as predators against certain harmful insects, but they also help to pollinate flowers and plants, aiding in vegetation growth.

Although pesticides serve a purpose to control harmful insect populations, they may harm bees and other beneficial pollinators essential for keeping gardens and crops flourishing. Without bees, crops suffer, especially in areas where bird populations remains low or virtually non-existent. It is always advisable to seek the proper advice from an insect control specialist to determine which control methods are best for your garden bed, outdoor space, or home.

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