Sept 25, 2012
Mark Hohn didn’t pay much attention to the dead bees scattered outside his shop when he got home from vacation a few weeks ago. He just pulled out a leaf blower and blasted away the mess.
It took him a few days to realize he had an invasion of the living dead on his hands.
“I joke with my kids that the zombie apocalypse is starting at my house,” said the novice beekeeper. The dead and dying honeybees from Hohn’s 1.25-acre spread in Kent are the first in Washington confirmed to be infected by a parasitic fly that causes the bees to lurch around erratically before dropping dead.
The discovery expands the range of the so-called “zombie bees” first discovered in California in 2008 by San Francisco State University biologist John Hafernik. Through his websiteZombeeWatch.org, Hafernik is recruiting a network of citizen scientists, like Hohn, to help determine how widespread the parasite is and whether it is contributing to the demise of bee colonies across the country.
This article was posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 6:17 am