In Seattle Washington, a dastardly parasite is to blame for a strange wave of bee deaths in area. The infected bees begin display all sorts of strange behavior until they eventually feel compelled to fly erratically at night and then suddenly drop dead. These “zombie bees” were first discovered in California by a biologist, but have also been spotted in Oregon and South Dakota and it seems as if the ghastly phenomenon is spreading rapidly. In a scene out of a George Romero helmed horror film, the bees are infected when an adult parasitic fly lands on the back of the bee and injects her eggs into the it’s abdomen. Once the eggs hatch, the writhing mass of maggots essentially eat the bee from the inside out, causing them to act in a ghoulish way reminiscent of our favorite movie creatures, except for the notable lack of insatiable hunger for human flesh. A biology professor at the San Francisco State University shed a little bit of light on the strange plot line ripped from the pages of a Stephen King novel.
“They fly around in a disoriented way, get attracted to light, and then fall down and wander around in a way that’s sort of reminiscent of zombies in the movies. Sometimes we’ve taken to calling [it], when they leave their hives, ‘the flight of the living dead.'”
Biologists are concerned that the parasitic flies could eventually jump to different species in search of hosts for it’s larva, turning anything living into a incubator for the next wave of zombiefying maggots. So, watch the skies and cover up.