Zombie bees, that is. A beekeeper in a Seattle suburb is the first in the state to report his bees infected with the parasite that causes bees to fly at night and them to fly at night and em to fly at night and fly erratically about until they die.
Infected bees have been previously spotted in California and all beekeepers have been on alert to watch their hives for symptoms. It is not confirmed what relationship if any the parasite has to the Sudden Hive Death syndrome–all the bees in a hive dying off at once.
In Texas, the fire ant, one of the South’s biggest pests, is facing a new predator of its own. Researchers at Texas A&M University have introduced a tiny phorid fly, originally native to South America, to lay their eggs onto fire ants. These eggs hatch into maggots inside the
ant and begin to eat away at the ants’ brains, essentially turning the fire ants into tiny little zombies. The ants wander around for up to two weeks while the maggots eat away at their brains, until the ants’ heads fall off. Then the maggot turns into a fly and is ready to start
the cycle over again.