Save The Bees – Helping Our Bee Friends With Mycelium
Bees are fuzzy little life givers, they pollinate about ⅓ of the food we eat as well as many trees and flowers that provide habitats for other creatures. They’re pretty great, but they’re disappearing which could be very detrimental to the entire planet. Due to deforestation, the use of pesticides, climate change, and parasites the bee population is dropping and it’s very important we do something about it.
One of the biggest threats to bees is the parasitic varroa mite that attaches itself to the back of bees, draining the life out of it and passing diseases such as deformed wing virus (DWV) and Lake Sinai virus (LSV). DWV causes shriveled wings, bloated abdomens, discoloration, decreased body size and immunosuppression in adult honey bees, ultimately leading to the collapse of honey bee colonies everywhere.
Legendary mycologist Paul Stamets discovered that bees were regularly visiting a patch of mycelium he had planted in his garden, this continued for over a month. Recalling this decade later when asked if he could help the bees, he had made a potential breakthrough in the collapse of bee colonies; the bees in his garden many years ago were self medicating with mycelium for its antimicrobial properties which are effective for protecting against bacteria, other fungi, and viruses.
Stamets, Dr. Steve Sheppard, and Washington State Beekeepers Association teamed up for the BeeFriendly initiative to help reverse the decline in the bee population. Using extracts from reishi and amadou mycelium they’re finding positive results in protecting the bees from the deadly viruses given to them by the varroa mite.
For more information or to help support the Bee Friendly Research Initiative follow this link:
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