Parasitic flies attack honeybees turning them into zombies


“Zombie” fly parasite causing decline of honeybee population.

A pile of dead bees was supposed to become food for a newly captured praying mantis. Instead, the pile of bees ended up revealing a previously unrecognized suspect in colony collapse disorder a mysterious condition that for several years has been causing declines in U.S. honeybee populations, which are needed to pollinate many important crops. This new potential culprit is a bizarre and potentially devastating parasitic fly that has been taking over the bodies of honeybees (Apis mellifera) in Northern California.

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Roboclarinet Plays “Flight of the Bumblebee”

This robotic clarinet player created by Australian research group took first prize at the Artemis Orchestra Competition, a contest in which engineers were challenged to create embedded systems capable of playing human instruments. It handles Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Flight of the Bumble Bee with the breathless disgorgement of rapid-fire notes you’d expect from an ADHD clarinet protegee dizzy on lemonade: it just spews the notes out without any soul or force. Clarinetists do not have to worry about their cybernetic peers just yet. Still, what’s really impressive about the automated clarinet is the articulated mouthpiece capable of generating the plosive breath necessary to play the instrument, as well as the intricate fingering of the valves.

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