It's a story with a lot of buzz and a big ole' stinger.

Researchers at San Francisco State University say the reason bees have been disappearing is because of little critters called Apocephalus borealis.

The smaller-than-flea-sized pests hitch a ride on bees and release a toxin that basically turns the honey makers into zombies.

"They're very small, probably about flea sized mite that pretty much goes on the bee when the bee pollinates the flowers," says Serg Borchilo of Sacramento Beekeeping Supply.

"They have plenty of honey, plenty of pollen, plenty of brood and then all of a sudden the whole colony just leaves the hive and nobody knows why."

It's a potentially costly dilemma. The bug that turns the bees to zombies have been found in 75 percent of Bay Area hives, near some of the world's most valuable crops. 

"Without bees pretty much, we would not be able to have all of our fruits and vegetables they help about a third of our food crop."