ZomBee Watch Remote Program

Want to bring the complex world of bees and the fun of citizen science to your classroom?

Zombie fly life cycle

Planet Bee Foundation is currently piloting a remote version of our ZomBee Watch Program, allowing students around the country to participate in real-world scientific research! No matter where your school is located, we can send you educational materials and skype with your students, guiding you through this multiple-day lesson. Of course, if you’re located in the Bay Area, Planet Bee can still come into your classroom to teach our in-school ZomBee Watch Lesson.

So what is a ZomBee? A ZomBee is a honey bee which has been parasitized by a zombie fly, which lays its eggs in the bee’s abdomen. Once infected, the ZomBee becomes nocturnal, flying repeatedly at lights until it falls to the ground, where it crawls around sluggishly and eventually dies. Soon after, zombie fly larvae hatch from its neck.

Now, onto our remote ZomBee Watch Program! During our first skype lesson, our world-class educators will teach your students about bee behavior and biology, pollination, Colony Collapse Disorder, the zombie fly life cycle, and ZomBee behavior. Then in class, you and your students will become ZomBee Hunters, designing and building light traps to catch parasitized bees! A third lesson taught in class focuses on the scientific method. We will send bee samples or photos to your school for your students to analyze, compare, contrast, and document. Next, students will set out their traps, examine and document what they catch, and finally post their findings on the official ZomBee Watch website! These results will go onto a map of the world which shows everywhere that ZomBees have been found, thus contributing to real scientific research. During our last skype session, Planet Bee educators will wrap up the project by answering all of your students’ questions.

Think your students would like to be ZomBee Hunters? Contact us to bring this cutting-edge program to your school! To maintain our commitment to environmental justice, we offer sliding scale fees.

Email our Community Outreach Lead Sarah Thorson at sarah@planetbee.org if you're interested in our signing up for our remote ZomBee Watch Program.