Navigation Links
NHM entomologist co-authors new research on parasitic phorid fly, a new threat to honey bees

Jan. 2, 2012 A paper to be published on January 3, 2012 in the authoritative magazine PLoS ONE, co-authored by NHM entomologist Dr. Brian Brown, reveals a new threat to honey bees and perhaps, a partial explanation for the bees' well-publicized Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a syndrome characterized by worker bees abandoning their hive. The threat is the tiny but dangerous phorid fly, which may pose an emerging threat to North American beekeeping.

The honey bee Apis mellifera has experienced recent unexplained die-offs around the world. Although catastrophic losses of honey bee colonies have occurred in the past, the magnitude and speed of recent hive losses appear unprecedented. So far, the main causal suspects have been parasitic mites, fungal parasites, viral diseases and interactions amongst them.

In this paper, the authors provide the first documentation that the phorid fly Apocephalus borealis, previously known to only parasitize bumble bees, also infects and eventually kills honey bees by leading them to abandon their hives at night.

Brown is a world authority on phorid flies, and blogs about the weird creatures at He has received reports of nighttime bee activity in Los Angeles. "It seems to be concentrated near the coast," he said, "which is where our collecting has also encountered the flies."

The authors prove that 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 and pupate away from the bee. Using DNA barcoding, the authors confirmed that phorids that emerged from honey bees and bumble bees were the same species.

Understanding details of phorid infection may shed light on similar hive abandonment behaviors seen in CCD. Further, knowledge of this parasite could help prevent its spread into regions of the world where nave hosts may be easily susceptible to attack.

Contact: Kristin Friedrich
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Related biology news :

1. UOG entomologist receives new grant monies to combat the rhino beetle
2. UMass Amherst entomologists begin to control winter moth infestation in eastern Massachusetts
3. Entomologists launch the 5,000 Insect Genome Project (i5k)
4. UC Riverside entomologists propose pesticide-free method to increase egg production
5. Discovery by UC Riverside entomologists could shrink dengue-spreading mosquito population
6. UC Riverside faculty member joins elite group of entomologists
7. UC Riverside entomologist to oversee centralized database of bee specimens
8. UC Riverside entomologist helps manage invasion threats posed to Californias avocados
9. UCR entomologists to develop special bacteria to combat spread of mosquito-borne diseases
10. Noted entomologist to receive science excellence award
11. US Department of State names UCR entomologist a Jefferson Science Fellow
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
NHM entomologist co-authors new research on parasitic phorid fly, a new threat to honey bees 
(Date:6/7/2016)... 7, 2016  Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio ... that includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" ... collaboration will result in greater convenience for SACU ... while maintaining existing document workflow and compliance requirements. ... Highlights: ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... NEW YORK , June 1, 2016 ... Biometric Technology in Election Administration and Criminal Identification to ... According to a recently released TechSci Research report, " ... Sector, By Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - ... $ 24.8 billion by 2021, on account of growing ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... 2016 Elevay is currently known ... freedom for high net worth professionals seeking travel for ... connected world, there is still no substitute for a ... sealing your deal with a firm handshake. This is ... advantage of citizenship via investment programs like those offered ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)...   Boston Biomedical , an industry leader ... target cancer stemness pathways, announced that its lead ... Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ... gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is an orally ... stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and is currently ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce ... cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... In a new case report published today in STEM ... who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection of ... dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , Lymphedema ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... is exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest ... ClinCapture will also be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: