[ExI] Bees again

spike spike66 at att.net
Sat Jan 14 20:07:39 UTC 2012

-----Original Message-----
From: spike [mailto:spike66 at att.net] 
Subject: RE: [ExI] Bees again

>... On Behalf Of BillK
Subject: [ExI] Bees again

Fly Parasite Turns Honeybees Into Zombies

>>...As if deadly viruses and fungi weren't enough, honeybees in North
America now must also deal with a fly parasite that causes them to leave
their hive and die after wandering about in a zombie-like stupor, a new
study shows.
Now researchers have discovered honeybees parasitized by A. borealis in 24
of 31 sites across the San Francisco Bay area, as well as other commercial
hives in California and South Dakota.  Original Study report:

>...Thanks Bill.  As I did in 2007, I am seeing a number of dying honeybees,
staggering about on the ground.  Now I have an idea.  I will take the dying
bee and keep it in a glass jar, to see if phorids emerge after a few days.
In retrospect, that is a perfectly logical experiment, but I hadn't thought
of it before.  spike

OK cool, I found a dead bumblebee, have her remains in a jar to see if A.
borealis larvae appear in the jar in a few days.

Here's an interesting signal: of the local bees, I would estimate about 5%
or less of all bees observed are bumblebees, or rather all the non-swarming
bees combined: bumblebees, carpenter bees, stingless pollinators, all the
solitaries combined, everything that isn't a honeybee, about 5%.  But now I
think of all those I have seen dead or in the process of expiring, the
percentage is way higher than 5%, more like about 20 percent.  But I hadn't
really noted it until today, so henceforth I shall count how many and try to
identify the type.

This one had evidently been there only a short time, as she expired on a
fairly busy sidewalk.  Presumably the half-life of a dead bee in such
circumstances would be short, before being devoured by ants or squooshed by
some prole's shoe.


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