Mushrooms Maybe the key to saving the World Bee population.

 Recently there have been news stories highlighting the decline of the bee population in the United States. The issue has been called colony collapse disorder and has reduced the colonies in size and health by as much as 30% across the Nation.

Why should you care?

Well as much as 60% of all the food we eat depends on pollination to exist, thrive, and grow. So if you enjoy having food to eat it should be something that concerns us all. Now I get it, bees can sting, and many think of them only as pests. Bees, however, play a critical role on our planet.

New research may provide a solution

Just announced new research has shown that the two main viruses responsible for the colony collapse disorder may be fought with mushrooms. The study found that bee colonies that were given mycelium extract from amadou and reishi fungi have seen a reduction of the deformed wing virus (79X) and (45,000X) reduction in Lake Sinai virus. Those numbers are more than magical they are unbelievable.

If the research data is proven it may be mushrooms that save our food supply from major impacts or even complete loss on some farms due to pollination issues.

 

WSU entomology professor Steve Sheppard was quoted on the research.

“Our greatest hope is that these extracts have such an impact on viruses that they may help varroa mites become an annoyance for bees, rather than causing huge devastation. We’re excited to see where this research leads us. Time is running out for bee populations and the safety and security of the world’s food supply hinges on our ability to find means to improve pollinator health. One of the major ways varroa mites hurt bees is by spreading and amplifying viruses. Mites really put stress on the bees’ immune systems, making them more susceptible to viruses that shorten worker bee lifespans,” Sheppard said.

 

Mushroom legend Paul Stamets and Fungi Perfect are on the case.

“We are ramping up production of the extracts as rapidly as is feasible, given the hurdles we must overcome to deploy this on a wide scale,” Stamets said.

 

“We aren’t sure if the mycelium is boosting the bees’ immune system or actually fighting the viruses. We’re working to figure that out, along with testing larger groups of colonies to develop best management practices and determine how much extract should be used and when to have the best impact,

Paul has created a special feeder to help test the bees and their reaction to the extracts.

 

Fingers crossed.

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