Mushroom extracts may help fight viruses destroying bee populations
A new study has discovered that honey bees may derive health benefits from the certain parts of mushrooms, giving them a chance to combat viruses.
The study was recently published in Nature Scientific Reports.
Parasitic mites, viruses, pollution, habitat loss, pesticides, and herbicides are all considered factors that contribute to declining bee populations across the globe, according to ABC News. These factors contribute to something called colony collapse disorder.
Colony collapse disorder is when most of a hive’s worker bees disappear living behind the queen, food, and a few nurse bees to care for the queen and immature bees. Reports say a group of scientists spent four years focusing on how tubular filaments from certain fungi could help bees battle the viral disease.
“Bees have been observed foraging on mushroom mycelium, suggesting that they may be deriving medicinal or nutritional value from fungi,” read the study.
Scientists say that bees with Lake Sinai virus and deformed wings virus could benefit from extracts of polypore mushrooms mycelium, which were shown to reduce viral counts within bees. Both viruses suppress bees' immune systems, weaken their ability to pollinate, and cut their flying time by almost half.
"This is a natural product and [it's showing] tremendous results in reducing the viruses of bees," said lead author of the study Paul Stamets. He called them "the first antivirals to reduce viruses in bees."
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