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SF State biologists tag 'zombees' to track their flight
Date:9/6/2012

tract unparasitized foragers through antagonistic interactions, the hive's productivity could falter. Combined with the premature deaths of the infected foragers, Zink said, these within-hive effects "would represent a two-fold cost of fly parasitism for the hive."

The radio tracking study "could give us a hint" as to why parasitism alters bee behavior, Hafernik said. "It might just be that having a maggot in the back is uncomfortable."

The PLoS ONE study was heavily covered in the media and some unusual outlets. "Our study got picked up on zombie discussion boards, and zombie blogs," Hafernik recalled. "And for the most part the discussion was all very respectful and zombie lovers were interested."

The researchers hope to capitalize on the interest in the bees with a citizen science project called ZomBee Watch. The project encourages bee watchers to help map the parasite's spread by uploading photos of possible parasitized bees to a central website.


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Contact: Nan Broadbent
nbroadbe@sfsu.edu
415-338-7108
San Francisco State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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