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“Zombie” Fly Parasite Killing Honeybees
Scientific American ^ | Jan. 3, 2012 | “Zombie” Fly Parasite Killing Honeybees

Posted on 01/05/2012 10:00:37 AM PST by BlueDragon

A heap of dead bees was supposed to become food for a newly captured praying mantis. Instead, the pile ended up revealing a previously unrecognized suspect in colony collapse disorder—a mysterious condition that for several years has been causing declines in U.S. honeybee populations, which are needed to pollinate many important crops. This new potential culprit is a bizarre—and potentially devastating—parasitic fly that has been taking over the bodies of honeybees (Apis mellifera) in Northern California.

(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.scientificamerican.com ...


TOPICS: Agriculture; Food; Gardening; Science
KEYWORDS:
Picked this up first at BEE-L, which is a long running list serve focusing on honeybees. None of the contributors or lurking readers have so far witnessed the phenome personally, even though many members have in past years have had their colonies suffer CCD (Colony collapse disorder) like signs. It's complicated, but virus loads have previously thought to be a factor particularly in conjunction with Nosema ceranae (a microspordian) infection with the varroa mite parasite weakening the bees. This parasitic fly is bit different, but the effect on the bees fit the pattern of what can be known as CCD.

Another link, perhaps the main source A New Threat to Honey Bees, the Parasitic Phorid Fly Apocephalus borealis

1 posted on 01/05/2012 10:00:41 AM PST by BlueDragon
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To: BlueDragon

Thanks for posting this piece. The word on actual causes of the hive collapses need to be heard.


2 posted on 01/05/2012 10:07:56 AM PST by 92nina
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To: BlueDragon

I remember a study in South TX where these flies or similar were brought in from South America to kill fire ants.


3 posted on 01/05/2012 10:09:48 AM PST by Dusty Road
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To: BlueDragon
Very, very old bit of humor...but somehow seems fitting in oh so many ways..

The bee, he is a busy soul
He has no time for birth control
And that is why, in times like these
There are so many SOBs

4 posted on 01/05/2012 10:10:15 AM PST by ken5050 (Mitt Romney: Eddie Haskell runs for president..)
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To: BlueDragon

Zom-bees!


5 posted on 01/05/2012 10:12:57 AM PST by Lady Lucky
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To: Dusty Road
That what I remembered...unintended consequences happen.
6 posted on 01/05/2012 10:14:37 AM PST by skinkinthegrass (I can take tomorrow, $pend it all today. Who can take your income, tax it all away. Obama Man can. :)
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To: Dusty Road
That what I remembered...unintended consequences happen.
7 posted on 01/05/2012 10:14:47 AM PST by skinkinthegrass (I can take tomorrow, $pend it all today. Who can take your income, tax it all away. Obama Man can. :)
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To: BlueDragon

It’s been more than 50 years since I cared for a bee hive, so I’m not up on everything, but I have been following the colony collapse syndrome problem. This discovery is significant. I hope it leads to a solution.


8 posted on 01/05/2012 10:15:56 AM PST by BuffaloJack (Defeat Obama. End Obama's War On Freedom.)
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To: BlueDragon; beebuster2000

the link at the bottom of my comment is to a PLoS ONE item.


9 posted on 01/05/2012 10:16:15 AM PST by BlueDragon (who-oah.. c'mon sing it one more time I didn't hear ya)
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To: BlueDragon

Oh what a glorious thing to be,
A healthy grown up busy busy bee,
Arthur Askey’s “Bee Song”
(This will make you crazy.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cx3epp1nTNs

Whiling away
The passing hours
Pinching all the pollen
From the cauliflow’rs.
I’d like to be a busy little bee,
Being just as busy as a bee can be,
Flying round the garden
Brightest ever seen,
Taking back the honey
To the dear old queen.

Bzz bzz bzz bzz, honey bee, honey bee,
Bzz if you like but don’t sting me.
Bzz bzz bzz bzz, honey bee, honey bee,
Bzz if you like but don’t sting me!


10 posted on 01/05/2012 10:23:29 AM PST by Lady Lucky
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To: 92nina
The word on actual causes of the hive collapses need to be heard.

Now I thought the science was settled on this and it was/is (drum roll and spooky music) global warming is killing the bees.
11 posted on 01/05/2012 10:27:24 AM PST by JSteff ((((It was ALL about SCOTUS. Most forget about that and HAVE DOOMED us for a generation or more.))))
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To: 92nina
This might not be the only cause, but it fits the observed signs.

CCD itself is hard to pin down, not only as what causes it, but what is properly diagnosed as CCD in the first place.

There have been large, widespread bee die-offs n this country periodically for more than a century.

Not being expert on this last one, nor on this most recent report, I do notice that on one map the fly seems to be found in California, but other information suggests it's common nationwide? I'm not up to speed yet -- will never be completely, I'm sure.

12 posted on 01/05/2012 10:35:42 AM PST by BlueDragon (who-oah.. c'mon sing it one more time I didn't hear ya)
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To: JSteff

“Now I thought the science was settled on this and it was/is (drum roll and spooky music) global warming is killing the bees.”

Which is ironic because 3 of my dad’s hives froze to death last year.

Guess they didn’t get the memo.


13 posted on 01/05/2012 10:36:46 AM PST by Salamander (I'm your pain.....)
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To: JSteff

We have plenty of bees here in Florida. So many that they have to open the walls of homes to get them out. Maybe they all moved here.

http://www.local10.com/news/Woman-finds-father-dead-in-home-full-of-bees/-/1717324/4617144/-/12vyu0tz/-/index.html

Thousands of bees invade South Florida home

01/04/2012

http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/state/thousands-of-bees-invade-south-florida-home


14 posted on 01/05/2012 10:37:28 AM PST by sheikdetailfeather ("Kick The Communists Out Of Your Govt. And Don't Accept Their Goodies"-Yuri Bezmenov-KGB Defector)
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To: BlueDragon

You may be interested in this:

http://www.columbian.com/news/2011/dec/28/superbees-creation-has-industry-abuzz/

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On a farm on the outskirts of Frederick, Md., Kelly Rausch and Adam Finkelstein crack open a wooden beehive whose design dates to the 19th century. Inside, they point out a superbee they have made for the 21st century.

In two months, the carefully bred queen bee has built a large, productive colony that knows how to cluster against the cold and fill the winter larder with honey.

More important, her bees have sought out and destroyed a sneaky parasitic mite that feeds on their baby sisters. “The bees are definitely taking care of everything,” Finkelstein said from behind his veil.

The desire for a bee that will look after itself might seem pretty basic. But with as many as one-third of honeybee colonies routinely dying off each year and the rest requiring extraordinary care, the quest for a better bee has become critical.

Scientists are trying to find the cause of colony collapse disorder, the 5-year-old phenomenon of worker bees suddenly disappearing. Other maladies abound and could be a factor in the disorder: new pests and diseases, the effects of pesticides and the strain of industrial-scale pollination.

Farmers rely on the insect not just for honey but also to pollinate much of our food.

Rausch and Finkelstein run a business called VP Queen Bees, which supplies breeder queens to producers for as much as $165 a queen, from their five bee yards in Frederick County, 50 miles northwest of here. The producers, in turn, propagate daughter queens by the thousands and sell them to commercial beekeepers and backyard hobbyists for about $30 each.

The object: a queen that will pass on to her colony the traits of disease and pest resistance, gentleness, productivity and winter hardiness.


15 posted on 01/05/2012 10:39:01 AM PST by 11th_VA (Keep your laws OFF my light bulbs !)
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To: BlueDragon

I remember reading about parasites being a cause of Colony Collapse years ago, but it was in a more fringe publication, mainstream just kept touting its something we are doing, pesticides, etc... whenever I saw a report about it in the mainstream press.

Amazing how the truth is ignored..


16 posted on 01/05/2012 10:46:15 AM PST by HamiltonJay
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To: BlueDragon

It seems that the foraging worker bees are coming into contact with Apocephalus borealis on a recurrent basis. It would seem that the intersecting habitat for Apocephalus borealis and the location for the forgaing should be the focus.


17 posted on 01/05/2012 10:50:50 AM PST by frithguild (Restricting access to capital - Liberalism: The sharpest tool of big business.)
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To: 92nina
On noes! A logical explanation for CCD?

The Chemtrail kooks aren't gonna be happy about this!

18 posted on 01/05/2012 10:52:30 AM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts ("The price of freedom is willingness to do sudden battle anywhere, anytime..." - Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: JSteff
Ya know, you're right. Global warming climate change anthropogenic pollution is probably behind the flies and virus. It's also in an alliance with cell phones. [/Sarc] On a more serious note, we probably will hear more about that again.
19 posted on 01/05/2012 10:53:21 AM PST by 92nina
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To: BlueDragon

If you’re right about California, Napa/Sonoma Valley better be ready.


20 posted on 01/05/2012 10:56:49 AM PST by 92nina
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To: 11th_VA
Thanks for the info, but without closed cycle breeding (artificial insemination) and drone control, one would be at the mercy of buying $165 queens as replacements? That won't fly for the commercial industry. I guess it's better than some of the $250 breeder queens presently sold in California, though. One can buy a open mated Italian queen in Texas for as low as $10. About double that in California, if memory serves. A little less than $100, plus the cost of replacement frames can buy one a nucleus (nuc) colony of three standard sized frames, in CA, less elsewhere. Package bees (about 3 lbs of live bees with a caged,open mated queen go for as low as $35 in the Southern U.S., to pushing a $100 in CA. I cannot recall if Australian package bees are still allowed to be imported into the U.S., or what their price was, but imports of those helped bail out the California pollinators just a few years ago, when hive losses were running 80% and more.
21 posted on 01/05/2012 10:59:25 AM PST by BlueDragon (who-oah.. c'mon sing it one more time I didn't hear ya)
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To: BlueDragon

Bush’s fault.


22 posted on 01/05/2012 11:00:00 AM PST by Thane_Banquo
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To: Dusty Road

That’s okay, there’s a chinese needle snake we can bring in to go after the flies.

“But then we’ll be overrun with chinese needle snakes!”

Then we bring in these gorillas that love snake meat.

“And what about the gorillas?”

That’s the beauty of it, when winter comes, the gorillas just freeze to death.

/simpsons


23 posted on 01/05/2012 11:23:24 AM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: JSteff
Now I thought the science was settled on this and it was/is (drum roll and spooky music) global warming is killing the bees.

I had heard it was cell phone towers. :)

24 posted on 01/05/2012 11:26:11 AM PST by proud American in Canada
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To: HamiltonJay

I think I remember running across the same thing, possibly mention of it here.

Check out this comment at Bee-L

Although not bee specific, it mentions another instance of parasites seeming to hijack the nervous system/ behavior of an host insect, causing a suicide type of affair, which benefited the parasite.
You know, sort-of like Obama and his cronies taking over the U.S. and making zombie followers out large portions of the electorate.

25 posted on 01/05/2012 11:47:28 AM PST by BlueDragon (who-oah.. c'mon sing it one more time I didn't hear ya)
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To: 11th_VA
Varroa resistant queens, or "hygienic" are touted by more than a few breeders. I take it that grooming traits are selected for, among other beneficial traits.

One woman mentioned in the article which you provided a link for, Marla Spivak, was the breeder behind what is called "Minnesota Hygienic".

The other bee breeder mentioned (other than the couple featured) is Sue Coby whom in conjunction with another(?) breed the NWC (New World Carniolan). She also has been able to bring some genetics in from Europe to bolster that line. All of which can help. Many breeders can provide NWC queens.

Coby has been holding an artificial insemination teaching program at UC Davis for the past. I think she still does, and is one of the best, possibly the best instructor.

Since the article mentioned them, I cannot but help but think that this couple who was successful in Maryland were utilizing something from these two women, but then again there is much overlap in bee genetics, too.

Google "Brother Adam" of "Buckfast" bees, (Buckfast Abbey) for info on a monk in England who bred super bees, blending bees from all over Europe, and even Africa (apis mellifera monticola), a high elevation African bee with many positive traits, not to be confused with the swarmy, defensive, low elevation hot weather scutelatta bee that was bred with European bees in South America, giving us the Africanized (AHB)or killer bee. The monticola can be found in a present European breeding line, under the name Mt. Elgon, I think. Not importable to the U.S., but not because of a bit of African strain, but more due to the present tight restriction on imports of any bee genetic material, though we can still receive bees from Canada, for a certainty.

There might even be a bit of Buckfast in Minneapolis Hygienic? I really don't know, just wild speculation, since it wasn't exactly a "line" as it would change over the years, but some of those bees were brought in to the U.S., mixing with the genetics we have here already.

Russian bees have been a part of some breeders hygienic breeding attempts. They have been exposed to the mite for longer, and naturally otherwise produce more propolis, which is bad for sticking hive parts together, but good for sanitation and cold surviving cold weather. One drawback with the Russian bees is they are slow to build up. No so with the Minnesota, I hear. Many have praised them highly. They take off (rebuilding population in early spring) as well or better than most italians, or carniolans. I think Spivak offers a few different flavors or crosses of her hygienic line. It's been a while since I looked.

Like a lot of people in the (sort-of) know, I wonder if there were any old line carniolan feral survivors on Santa Cruz Island which the bee biologist Adrian Wenner from UCSB deliberately introduced the varroa mite to, in an effort to destroy them, after years of bee-lining and trapping couldn't eradicate them from the Island. That was done as part of the effort to restore the Island back towards natural flora and fauna. Personally, I think the bee strains, and the fact they were isolated was far more valuable than a greeny Park Service dream of putting nature back to pre-european settlers condition.

Just think. Not only were those bees varroa free, they may also have been isolated from many viruses, and the microspordian Nosema, which in conjunction with IIV (invertebrate iridescent virus) and a couple of paralysis and wing deformation virus, have been previously found to have been all present in other earlier CCD diagnosed colonies.

26 posted on 01/05/2012 12:14:40 PM PST by BlueDragon (who-oah.. c'mon sing it one more time I didn't hear ya)
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To: BlueDragon

I am just learning about mason bees (Osmia lignaria) now from seeing them in garden catalogs. Quite a neat little species: much more effective pollinizers than honeybees and very docile.

http://gardening.wsu.edu/library/inse006/inse006.htm

Since they are solitary, I’m guessing they don’t suffer from colony collapse or anything like that.


27 posted on 01/05/2012 12:18:18 PM PST by Claud
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To: BlueDragon
“Zombie” Fly Parasite Killing Honeybees

Here in Socal, I find bees on the ground either acting drunk or dead. Could fit the pattern.

28 posted on 01/05/2012 12:48:36 PM PST by I am Richard Brandon
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To: 92nina
The wine grape folks don't have much to worry about in this, since they do not rely upon honeybees (or bumbles, either?) for pollination. There are other pests & flies more worrisome to the wine folks.

The folks in CA this concerns the most are the almond growers, but then they have been dealing with the increases in pollination contract costs for a some years now. We pay for it in higher costs in the market.

There are so many overlaps concerning this latest discovery of the parasitic fly which had previously not been seen to attack honey bees. For a while now, it has been noted or speculated upon that virus transfers between bumbles and EHB had been occurring, and that bumbles had been suffering from --- what I don't know exactly. The virus transfer was thought to occur while both were visiting flowers. That may be the case, but this parasitic fly is another strong candidate as being a vector for virus not looked upon much previously. Both transfer methods may have been occurring. It's going to take a while to sort this out. All I can do is watch, and try to connect the dots without going too far off the with speculation, like blaming it all on cell phone towers. The varroa mites had also been seen as a vector among honeybees themselves, and also as weakening agent, in that the mite feeds on the bees blood, weakening the bees enough to succumb to virus,,and nosema infection.

29 posted on 01/05/2012 1:04:33 PM PST by BlueDragon (who-oah.. c'mon sing it one more time I didn't hear ya)
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To: I am Richard Brandon

Maybe scoop them up and put them in a sealed container, just to see if larvae emerge? The grub is emerging from the neck area


30 posted on 01/05/2012 1:10:20 PM PST by BlueDragon (who-oah.. c'mon sing it one more time I didn't hear ya)
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To: Claud
Mason bees, and others like them are great. They can do better pollination work in some instances, though they use both in apples, I think, with the Mason bees coming into play later in a flowering season, if memory serves. It could be a valuable thing, and profitable if one can make it work. Selling the bees to gardeners is also a market, as you see.

I don't know if they have been suffering like the bumbles have been reported to have been recently.

31 posted on 01/05/2012 1:17:14 PM PST by BlueDragon (who-oah.. c'mon sing it one more time I didn't hear ya)
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32 posted on 01/05/2012 1:41:05 PM PST by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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To: 11th_VA

——the carefully bred queen bee——

While I believe there is the potential for breeding, I doubt the ability to genetically transfer immunity to a different species.

I have the greatest respect for bee capabilities and do believe it is possible for them to develop strategies for killing the colony collapse cause. It is not however genetic.

Having watched bees for years and years, and having watched Cowboys and Aliens last night, I am still convinced that we will never be able to communicate with aliens if we can’t talk to our honey bees.


33 posted on 01/05/2012 1:55:24 PM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: sheikdetailfeather

Snow Bee’s.


34 posted on 01/05/2012 3:17:43 PM PST by Dusty Road
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To: BlueDragon

35 posted on 01/05/2012 3:19:52 PM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: BlueDragon
Thanks for all the info on honey bees - I really know very little about them and didn't realize there were so many varieties to breed.

I'm dealing with some dumb English Wasps that took up residence at my yard last year. They're 'scary big,' but quite dumb, even when I spray them directly.

I'm waiting for spring to see how many are left.

36 posted on 01/05/2012 4:58:00 PM PST by 11th_VA (Keep your laws OFF my light bulbs !)
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To: 11th_VA
Your link was good. I was a bit hasty in my reply. I have heard of bees picking mites off one another and biting them. Most bees don't do that. So I guess these folks concentrated on which ones did, then selected and bred reinforcement for that? Which makes me wonder if they were able to obtain enough different lines to cross (like 8 or more, something like that) to help maintain viability. Bee breeding is much about drone control...and if the drones are of the same lines too often, then brood will fail to develop. On reason for what is called spotty brood. Without enough variable drone allele input, the spottiness increases. But without enough drone control, say in open mating where one cannot influence which lines of drones are flooded into an area, then a selected for attribute can become diluted enough to more or less disappear. It's difficult to get it right, or so I understand. If I was doing my own in remote enough area (pure fantasy talk here on my part) I'd love to try building my own "midnite" carniolan/cacausion cross, then try and blend them with some good italians, just to see what would happen. One can get too crossed up in hurry with all of that, and lose it all. Hybrid vigor can express itself in increased defensiveness, too. The second crossing daughters can be pretty touchy, a bit hot to handle.

Here's someone talking about different races,and cross strains. The page is years old, I don't know how much of the info is valid anymore. http://beetalk.tripod.com/bees.htm

37 posted on 01/05/2012 5:34:44 PM PST by BlueDragon (who-oah.. c'mon sing it one more time I didn't hear ya)
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