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Can the 'ZomBees' invasion be stopped?

MGN (Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez / Creative Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 DE)

PORTLAND, Ore. (SBG) - It's the closest we've gotten to a zombie apocalypse, and it's happening right here in Oregon.

More honeybees in the Pacific Northwest have fallen victim to the Apocephalus borealis, or 'zombie fly.'

There's even a website dedicated to tracking the phenomenon.

Dubbed 'ZomBees,' honeybees affected by the zombie fly appear disoriented and mindless.

"The numbers [of infected honeybees] seem to be increasing," local bee expert Brian Lacy said. "Because we rely so much on the honeybee as a pollinator for the food that human beings eat, there's a heightened concern about the effect that the zombie fly can have on honeybees."

That effect: The zombie fly lays eggs in the honeybee which eventually hatch into larvae that eat the bee host alive.

Despite the increased number of sightings, Lacy said there's only anecdotal evidence that the zombie fly poses a significant danger to the honeybee population at large -- but it's still a problem worth keeping an eye on.

"There's really no solid evidence that I'm aware of that points to how serious this is going to be," Lacy said.

You can visit Lacy's website for more information on how to help combat the ZomBee phenomenon.


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