Saturday, September 01, 2012
The Invaders: New Bee Species are Parasitic
Five new species of bees have been reported - and all are strange. They are parasites, stealing into other bees' nests and depositing their own eggs in the nurseries. Jakub Straka of Charles University (Prague) and Michael S. Engel of the University of Kansas reported the bees from the islands of Cape Verde. The invades (or "cuckoo bees") choose times when most of the target colony is out foraging and it's easier to slip in unnoticed. Their fast-incubating eggs hatch, and the larvae wipe out the unhatched eggs around them. Fiendish!