Attack of the ZomBees

Learn what to look for and what you can do to help stop the honey bees from Zombie Fly infestation.

zombeesThe Phorid Fly or Apocephalus borealis is actually native to the state of Oregon, but is only recently observed to make the jump to honey bees. It injects it’s larvae into a worker bee, and once the eggs inside hatch and begin to grow, the bee will make its final flight from the hive. Infected bees are observed showing unusual behavior, such as flying around at night and being attracted to light sources. The infected bees will typically die quickly and are commonly found underneath a source of light or within a light trap.

Recently, researchers at San Francisco State University and OSU have been conducting research to determine the extent of the ZomBee infestations and need the help of citizen scientists to collect data and bee samples throughout the country. The Columbia SWCD can provide assistance for Columbia County residents to set up light traps and get established as a Citizen Scientist. You can create your own account at www.zombeewatch.org, or bring your samples into the SWCD office (and we’ll handle them from there).

Download and build a ZomBee light trap in our ZomBee Booklet.