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Research Article

A New Threat to Honey Bees, the Parasitic Phorid Fly Apocephalus borealis

  • Andrew Core,

    Affiliation: Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, United States of America

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  • Charles Runckel,

    Affiliation: Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America

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  • Jonathan Ivers,

    Affiliation: Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, United States of America

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  • Christopher Quock,

    Affiliation: Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, United States of America

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  • Travis Siapno,

    Affiliation: Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, United States of America

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  • Seraphina DeNault,

    Affiliation: Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, United States of America

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  • Brian Brown,

    Affiliation: Entomology Section, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, California, United States of America

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  • Joseph DeRisi,

    Affiliation: Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America

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  • Christopher D. Smith,

    Affiliation: Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, United States of America

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  • John Hafernik mail

    acore13@yahoo.com

    Affiliation: Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, United States of America

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  • Published: January 03, 2012
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029639

Reader Comments (8)

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Control measures for phorid flies

Posted by Keith_Henson on 06 Jan 2012 at 01:02 GMT

This might be obvious, but it seems what you have found suggests a control strategy.

Clean dead bees out of the bottom of the hives every day and destroy them. Same with any bees that emerge from the hive at night, they should go into a trap that kills them and the parasites.

Very impressive research, thanks.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Control measures for phorid flies

phoridae replied to Keith_Henson on 07 Jan 2012 at 16:54 GMT

That would probably help, but don't forget there is a wild reservoir in bumble bee colonies.

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Control measures for phorid flies

Keith_Henson replied to phoridae on 08 Jan 2012 at 20:53 GMT

That's true and these flies seem to become indiscriminate between bumble bees and honey bees. That might be their undoing. If most of those that lay eggs on bees are a reproductive dead end due to human control measures, that should put a serious drain on the population.

No competing interests declared.