FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Northern California scientists say they have found another explanation for the honey bee die-off: A parasitic fly that hijacks their bodies and causes them to abandon hives.
The study is another step in ongoing research to find the cause of colony collapse disorder. The disease, in which all the adult honey bees in a colony suddenly disappear, continues to decimate hives in the U.S. and overseas.
The latest study by researchers at San Francisco State University was published Tuesday in the science journal PLoS ONE.
It says the phorid fly was found in bees from three-quarters of the 31 hives surveyed in the San Francisco Bay area. Scientists say the fly deposits its eggs into the bee’s abdomen, causing the insect to walk around in circles with no apparent sense of direction.