Washington state's first 'zombie bees' reported; parasite causes bees to fly at night, die

Associated Press

SEATTLE - Washington state has its first "zombie bees."

Novice beekeeper Mark Hohn found that his bees are infected with a parasite that causes them to fly at night and lurch around erratically until they die.

The Seattle Times reports it's the first time the bee infection has been found in the state, according to tracking by San Francisco State University biologist John Hafernik through his website ZombeeWatch.org.

Zombie bees were first discovered in California in 2008.

Bee populations already have been dropping in recent years due to another ailment called Colony Collapse Disorder, in which all the adult honey bees in a colony suddenly die.

Zombie bees also are being studied by Steve Sheppard, chairman of the entomology department at Washington State University.

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