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Photo: USGS.gov
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Updated 08/07/2016
Presented by Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Participation fee $0
Expenses $0
Spend the time outdoors
Location anywhere
Appropriate for kids yes
Teaching materials no

Required Gear:

Gloves, long sleeve shirts, a safe enclosed place to store bee specimens, and a portable light.

A DIY light trap may also be used to collect bees. Visit our website to learn how to build this simple light trap, and to view other tutorials.


Learn where in North America bees are infected by Zombie Flies
Collect honey bees; report easy-to-spot signs of infection.

ZomBee Watch is a citizen science project sponsored by the San Francisco State University Department of Biology, the San Francisco State University Center for Computing for Life Sciences and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. ZomBee Watch was initiated as a follow-up to the discovery that the Zombie Fly Apocephalus borealis is parasitizing honey bees in California and possibly other areas of North America.

ZomBee Watch has three main goals.

  1. To determine where in North America the Zombie Fly Apocephalus borealis is parasitizing honey bees.

  2. To determine how often honey bees leave their hives at night, even if they are not parasitized by the Zombie Fly.

  3. To engage citizen scientists in making a significant contribution to knowledge about honey bees and to become better observers of nature.

You can help in finding out where honey bees are being parasitized by the Zombie Fly and how big a threat the fly is to honey bees. So far, the Zombie Fly has been found parasitizing honey bees in California, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont and Washington. We are teaming up with citizen scientists (like you!) to determine if the fly has spread to honey bees across all of North America.

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