ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt.

‘Zombie bees’ identified

Beekeepers face mite infestations, extreme temperature swings and the possibility of colony collapse. Last fall, a new threat emerged in Vermont: zombie bees. Beekeeper Anthony Cantrell of Burlington discovered zombie bees in his hive in October, the first time they’d been found in the eastern United States. John Hafernik, a San Francisco State University professor, discovered the first zombie bees in 2008. A fly called Apocephalus borealis attaches itself to the bee and injects its eggs, which grow inside the bee, Hafernik said. Scientists believe it causes neurological damage resulting in erratic, jerky movement and night activity, “like a zombie,” Hafernik said by phone Tuesday. The bees often die a few hours after showing symptoms.

MILWAUKEE

Stradivarius is stolen

A 300-year-old Stradivarius violin was stolen from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster during an armed robbery after a performance at Wisconsin Lutheran College, police said Tuesday. The robber used a stun gun on concertmaster Frank Almond to take the violin around 10:30 p.m. Monday in a parking lot, police Chief Edward Flynn said. Flynn said it was valued in the “high seven figures.”

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C.

Shooting at playground

Police are searching for a man who sprayed a church playground with gunfire, striking four youths and leaving a 12-year-old boy gravely wounded. The Rev. James Gailliard at Word Tabernacle Church said the shooting happened shortly before 6 p.m. Monday, as about two dozen neighborhood teens played basketball. Among those hit was Nyreek Horne, 12; police said Tuesday he remained in critical condition.

TULSA, Okla.

Skydiver is recovering

A 16-year-old Texas girl who plummeted more than 3,000 feet to the ground in an Oklahoma skydiving accident survived and is recovering from her many injuries. Makenzie Wethington was in good condition Tuesday, said Dr. Jeffrey Bender, a trauma surgeon at University of Oklahoma Medical Center, and was expected to leave the intensive care unit.

Compiled from wire reports.