Category Archives: Uncategorized

Mr. Fish: Straight from the Horse’s Ass


From Clowncrack, his blog of hippomanic haruspication:

BLOG Fish

 

Mr. Fish: Thirst


From Clowncrack, his blog of dapatical dehydration:

BLOG Fish 2

Chart of the day II: Scraping the barrel’s bottom


From Gallup:

BLOG Nominees

Mr. Fish: Fireworks


From Clowncrack, his blog of sanguinary sacramentarianism:

BLOG Fish

ZomBees spread, parasite-infected honeybees


An Apocephalis borealis female oviposits on bee. After being infected by the fly parasite, bees abandon their hives to congregate at night near lights, dying after a bout of disoriented, "zombie-like" behavior. Researchers at SF State confirmed this week the first "zombie bee" discovery in the southern United States. Photo credit: Christopher Quock

An Apocephalis borealis female oviposits on bee. After being infected by the fly parasite, bees abandon their hives to congregate at night near lights, dying after a bout of disoriented, “zombie-like” behavior. Researchers at SF State confirmed this week the first “zombie bee” discovery in the southern United States. Photo credit: Christopher Quock

Call them the flying dead, six-legged critters infected by parasites that hijack their bodies and force them perform in ways contrary to their own interests.

It all might be merely amusing, except that the creature in question is essential to the reproduction of so many of the foods that we and other creatures depend on for our very survival.

From San Francisco State University

Parasitized honey bees, or “zombees,” have been found for the first time in the Southern United States, according to researchers at San Francisco State University. The discovery, made in Collinsville, Virginia, was announced this week by ZomBee Watch, a project based at the University.

SF State Professor of Biology John Hafernik and his colleagues first reported parasitized honey bees in 2012 in an article in the journal PLOS ONE. After being infected with a fly parasite, the bees abandon their hives to congregate at night near lights, dying after a bout of disoriented, “zombie-like” behavior. Hafernik and other researchers are tracking the phenomenon with the help of more than 2,000 citizen scientists who report possible parasitized bee sightings to ZomBee Watch.

Early zombee sightings were mostly limited to the U.S. West Coast and South Dakota, but the latest discovery adds to the mounting evidence that the phenomenon is widespread on the East Coast as well. Parasitized bees were found for the first time in New England in 2013, followed by the mid-Atlantic region and upstate New York in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

“The important next steps are to determine how common the phenomenon is in Eastern honey bees, whether it might be spreading and increasing in intensity and how serious it is for the health of honey bee colonies,” Hafernik said.

In order to do that, Hafernik is urging more individuals to join the zombee hunt to help researchers collect more data regarding the spread of zombie bees. He and his team have developed a series of videos to help new hunters get started, and Hafernik says now is the ideal time to get involved.

“We expect that infection rates will rise during the summer and peak in the fall,” he said. “We are already receiving reports of honey bees being hard hit this year in the Hudson Valley of New York. More than ever, we need citizen scientists to join the ZomBee Watch team, to be on the lookout for honey bees acting strangely in their area and report their observations.”

From ZomBee Watch, a constantly updated map keeps track of suspected sightings, along with updates on whether or not suspected cases are confirmed.

From ZomBee Watch, a constantly updated map keeps track of suspected sightings, along with updates on whether or not suspected cases are confirmed.

The Virginia bees were discovered by Collinsville beekeeper Lynn Berry earlier this spring. Berry had noticed bees congregating near his garage lights, but thought nothing of it until a state inspector came to a meeting of the local beekeeping club and told attendees about the zombee phenomenon. Berry collected his samples and sent them to Brian Brown, a phorid fly expert at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, who confirmed that one had been infected by the Apocephalis borealis fly, the parasite behind the zombee infestations. The fly infects a honey bee by depositing its eggs into the bee’s abdomen. A few days after the bee dies, fly larvae burst out from between the bee’s head and thorax.

There’s more, after the jump. . . Continue reading

Man arrested for trying to assassinate The Donald


You had to know this was coming: A 19-year-old man has been charged with the attempted murder of Donald Trump after he tried and failed to grab a police officer’s pistol during a Trump rally in Las Vegas Saturday.

From the Associated Press:

A complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Nevada charges Michael Steven Sandford with an act of violence on restricted grounds.

It cites a report by Special Agent Swierkowski, whose first name was not included, saying Sandford told officers he drove from California to kill Trump and went to a Las Vegas gun range the day before to learn to shoot.

Sandford later went to a Trump rally at the Treasure Island Casino and approached a Las Vegas police officer to say he wanted an autograph from Trump.

The report says Sandford was arrested after grabbing the handle of an officer’s gun in an attempt to remove it.

Headline of the day: No spam included?


From the Guardian:

WikiLeaks to publish more Hillary Clinton emails – Julian Assange

New release likely to fan controversy and provide further ammunition for Republican presidential rival Donald Trump