BANNER ELK, N.C. -- North Carolina's first confirmed cases of Zombie Bees have been discovered in Banner Elk, according to Zombeewatch.org.
Claire Kimmel, a beekeeper, discovered the dead bees on her front porch in September. “My 6-year-old granddaughter was visiting and she said to her granddaddy ‘why do you have dead bees on your porch?’ We’d never seen them before, noticed them before so I put them in a little container and four or five days later they hatched out the larvae which then turned into the pupae.”
The process of becoming a Zombie Bee starts when a parasitic fly attaches itself to a honey bee and injects its eggs into the bee, causing "zombie-like" behavior.
"They kind of lose their navigational abilities, they walk around in circles kind of disoriented and then they eventually die because they're being eaten from the inside," said Lynn Berry, a beekeeper in Collinsville, Virginia who discovered Zombie Bees at his home in early Summer.
Fly larvae burst out of their carcasses days after they die.
We'll have more on the first confirmed cases of Zombie Bees in North Carolina, tonight on WFMY News 2 at 11.