Researchers in California may have found a clue in the Colony Collapse Disorder mystery in honeybees. Biologists at San Francisco State University say they have found a tiny parasitic phorid fly may be the culprit. The fly was known to infect ants, wasps and bumblebees but it was not known to affect honeybees.
The fly deposits its eggs in the abdomen of bees, “the parasitized honey bees show hive abandonment behavior, leaving their hives at night and dying shortly thereafter. On average, seven days later up to 13 phorid larvae emerge from each dead bee.”
It was also found that hives infested with the tiny flies were often infected with a virus and fungus suggesting they fly might be a vector for those pathogens as well.
The report is published online at PlosOne.org