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Author Topic: ZomBees  (Read 730 times)
New Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 5

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

« on: September 06, 2012, 09:57:25 PM »

I am an urban beekeeping in Minneapolis on a typical city lot (40ft X 120ft). I keep two hives in my backyard. This summer I often noticed late at night when coming home that the garage flood light was on and there would be a handful of bees buzzing around it, like moths to a flame. In the morning some may be quietly standing near or around the light, but overall very much motionless, yet not dead. Some would also be on the cement walkway walking around seemingly groggy. It was odd behavior fr sure.

In the recent newsletter from my Beekeeping Association, there was an article about research being done in California for what they are calling Zombees. They exhibit similar behavior as described above and it turns out that the bees may be carriers of a certain species of fly's egg/larvae which grows inside the bee making them go somewhat mad. I was glad and scared that there was a reason for my bees behavior.

I have signed up as a "citizen scientist" and a made an inexpensive light trap. I encourage you also to sign up,be informed and see what sort of data sets you can provide these researchers. You can see their website:
Galactic Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 8186

Location: Hiram, Georgia

« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 09:59:48 PM »

Bees will always fly to the light in the dark.   
House Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 65

Location: Cuba, MO

Grandpa and Brandon in the hives

« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 11:05:35 PM »

Just remember, double tap Wink
Super Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 1647

Location: Southeast Tennessee

Gamecock fan in UT land.

« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2012, 02:16:04 PM »
House Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 103

Location: HWY 212, Boring Oregon

« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2012, 03:49:51 PM »

big news out here in Orygun.  Oregon State bee researcher finds our first Zombi fly today.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 07:50:38 PM by Robo » Logged

Poor decisions make the best stories.
Galactic Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 3773

Location: Lewisberry, PA

« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2012, 05:02:53 PM »

Bees are attracted to light. It is not natural for them to come upon flood lights at the end of the day. And a certain number of bees never make it back to the hive at night for a number of reasons. So they get trapped out in the night, cooler than they are accustomed, are attracted to the light, and probably about starving to death by morning. No wonder they walk around like zombies. It is not a great mystery.
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