And experts say the condition has crept into Washington state.
“I joke with my kids that the zombie apocalypse is starting at my house,” said Mark Hohn, a novice beekeeper who spotted the infected insects at his suburban Seattle home.
Hohn returned from vacation a few weeks ago to find many of his bees either dead or flying in jerky patterns and then flopping on the floor.
He remembered hearing about zombie bees, so he collected several of the corpses and popped them into a plastic bag. About a week later, the Kent man had evidence his bees were infected: the pupae of parasitic flies.
“Curiosity got the better of me,” Hohn said.
The zombie bees were the first to be confirmed in Washington state, The Seattle Times reported (http://is.gd/ji7UNX).
San Francisco State University biologist John Hafernik first discovered zombie bees in California in 2008.
Hafernik now uses a website to recruit citizen scientists like Hohn to track the infection across the country. Observers also have found zombie bees in Oregon and South Dakota.