Vermont on high alert for 'zombie bees' - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermont on high alert for 'zombie bees'

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Honeybee keepers in Vermont are on high alert for a "zombie bee" apocalypse.

Michael Willard of the Vermont Beekeepers Association says the infection started in California and has been killing bees up and down the West Coast. But last fall that infection was detected for the first time in New England by a beekeeper in Burlington.

Officials say a zombie fly attaches to and lays an egg in the bee's stomach. Once the larvae hatches, the bee dies. Once a bee has been infected, it is the insect's erratic behavior that has people calling them "zombie bees."

"It's very uncharacteristic for the honeybees to actually leave a hive at nighttime. And so they are attracted to the light and they are also unable to fly in some cases, and some people are finding them on the ground sort of twitching and walking around," Willard said.

Willard says there is no known cure or way to prevent bees from becoming infected.

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