Study: Parasitic fly could explain bee die-off

Well maybe global warming, DDT or secondhand smoke caused the parasitic fly?

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports,

Northern California scientists say they have found a possible explanation for a honey bee die-off that has decimated hives around the world: A parasitic fly that hijacks the bees’ bodies and causes them to abandon hives.

Scientists say the fly deposits its eggs into the bee’s abdomen, causing the infected bee to exhibit zombie-like behavior by walking around in circles with no apparent sense of direction. The bee leaves the hive at night and dies shortly thereafter.

The symptoms mirror colony collapse disorder, in which all the adult honey bees in a colony suddenly disappear.

The disease is of great concern, because bees pollinate about a third of the United States’ food supply. Its presence is especially alarming in California, the nation’s top producer of fruits and vegetables, where bees play an essential role in the $2 billion almond industry and other crops.

The latest study, published Tuesday in the science journal PLoS ONE, points to the parasitic fly as the new threat to honey bees. It’s another step in ongoing research to find the cause of the disease…

2 thoughts on “Study: Parasitic fly could explain bee die-off”

  1. Odd that U.S. agriculture depends on honey bees. Apis melifera is an introduced
    species, not native to North America.

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