Next year we could see a wide use of a household cure for the decline of the bee population which might finally give us some hope with the struggle of saving this vital species. Paul Stamets is a mushroom retailer who discovered that mushrooms appear to hold an antiviral power for bees.
While he was waking up one morning he remembered that bees used to fight over which ones get to feed on his mushrooms, he told the Tuscaloosa News on Saturday on an article regarding how he came upon his idea.
Stamets said that “I could see them sipping on the droplets oozing from the mycelium”. Back in 1984, he saw how bees were moving woodchips so that they could get closer to the mushroom’s mycelium or underside. Then, he assumed that they were seeking sugar but recently, Stamets figured out that the mycelium could contain a medicinal quality.
This new theory could be what kickstarts the movement to provide a quick cure which can really help the bee population to recover. This species has been affected tremendously ever since a breakout of mites happened in 1980. Varroa mites are known for transporting viruses to the bees which can completely wipe out individual colonies.
Dennis van Engelsdorp, an entomology professor from the University of Maryland, said that the main cause of dying bee colonies is represented by these mites. Stamets warned about what the bee’s extinction could mean to our society. He said that “what rivet will we lose that we’ll have a catastrophic failure? I think the rivet will be losing the bees. More than one-third of our food supply is dependent on bees”.
Steve Sheppard, an entomology professor from Washington State University, together with his colleagues decided to test 2 groups of bees. Both were previously exposed to Varroa mites but only one of them was given sugar AND mushroom additive. This substance eliminated almost all illness in some virus strains.