How Mushrooms Could Save The World’s Bees

Posted: Oct 8 2018, 5:44am CDT | by , in Trends

 

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How Mushrooms Could Save The World’s Bees

The world’s honeybees, specifically the Western variety, are facing extinction due to a virus that infects them and causes decimations in their population density. This virus is endemic and is not easily eradicable as such agents of disease lie in the shadowy area between life and death. Yet some hope has been offered from observations of these bees feeding on mushroom substrates. There appears to be some nutritional element in the fungus that aids these bees in warding off this viral disease they happen to be afflicted with. To explore this topic of interest is the goal of the scientists of the global village since honeybees are responsible for the cross-pollination of so many of the agricultural crops grown on the farms in various countries.

The Real Deal behind this Mushroom Extract

The death of the bees is cause for concern. The culprit is a mite that enters hives and infects these poor bees thereby laying their lives at risk to imminent death. Termed Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), this fatal disease has caused considerable havoc among bee populations in recent times. The bees that contract the illness are recognized by their twisted and convoluted wings. Not only is their immunity compromised but their lifespans are cut short much to the detriment of agriculturists. The world could face serious food shortage thanks in no small part to this issue.

The sick joke that is being played out in natural settings has its further consequences. The infected bees go on to infect the crops they happen to pollinate by mistake. Thus the devastation is double. This is indeed a full-fledged catastrophe in the making. Yet there is light at the end of the tunnel. A species of mushroom has been found to contain certain compounds which these infected bees take to like a duck to water. These Reishi mushrooms are often commonly found in Asia. The anti-viral agents found in these mushrooms are a Godsend against the disease afflicting the world’s honey bees. Also, a fungus known as Amadou which sticks out of trees in the shape of rounded projections is another agent against this virus afflicting the bees.

An observer noticed for the first time in 1984 that bees frequented certain Amadou-encrusted wood chips and sipped on droplets coming out of them. This was apparently just pure nutrition at work. Yet upon a closer glance, it seemed that they were treating their diseased condition. Those bees that fed on this fungal anti-viral nutrient tended to ward off the detrimental effects of the disease for longer. At least this much is certain that they did better in the long run than those bees which did not feed on the fungal source of self-medication.

This medicinal effect holds promise. It is a strong defense against the viral agent transmitted by the mite. Further research in experiments by scientists has confirmed what was suspected all along. The fungi do indeed have a salubrious effect on the afflicted bees. It could actually be that the anti-viral nutrients in the fungi simply raise the bees’ immunity severalfold and hence do the job by building sheer barricades against the harmful vector. Whatever the case, it seems that scientists are on to something here. Mankind’s last hope in the face of ultimate famine due to a dearth of bees may yet prove to be a worthwhile endeavor.

Some More Glimpses into Brutal Reality

The entire scenario appears to have come from a surreal novel. Yet the sad and dismal thing is that it is not straight out of a sci-fi tale told by an idiot but stark, cold and brutal reality. The world’s honeybees face extinction on a massive level thanks to the pesky mite that is fast infesting their hives. Many bee colonies have had their numbers slashed by up to a third which is indeed very worrying. Termed Colony Collapse Disorder, there are of course multiple reasons behind the whole phenomenon. Besides man-made agents of pollution and depredation such as invading the ecological niche of these bees, insecticides are another factor in the whole mess. Yet Nature is not so idyllic as to be condoned without a second thought. Precisely such a natural agent of destruction as the special mite has come to devastate the lives of these honey bees.

Scientists have now shown an interest in developing vaccinations for these diseased bees which will contain the fungal extract as a fundamental component. The whole problem began a long time ago. It is only now that it has manifested itself in an overblown manner. As for humanity, it is finally taking notice of this situation normal absolutely fouled up. The fungal extracts could also apply to other species such as bumblebees which are also vital pollinating agents.

The world’s honeybees are like the bricks of a building. Take them out one by one and ultimately you will have a total collapse of the architectural wonder that is humanity on earth. We are dependent upon food which comes from cash crops which are grown by farmers. Bees play a crucial role in the cross-pollination process. To lose them would be tantamount to making mankind suffer the hunger pangs of a lifetime.

The Last Chance

Even radiation emanating from cell phones and man-made technology may have a radically negative impact on bee colonies. Like mentioned earlier, the causes could be many, yet the fact is that something must be done. Since honey bees form the major pollinators of the world, they must be protected from harm. Our survival as humanity depends upon it. It is said that if a disease makes its entry into this world, the remedy must also lie close by. Such is the law of Mother Nature. So, where honey bees were infected by a mite virus, a particular mushroom extract has come to the rescue.

The Last Word…

While the variables that have led to the collapse of bee colonies are myriad, now thanks to science and technology, mankind has got a handle on the situation. A solid cure and complete solution lie in the near future thanks to research and development taking place in various labs around the world. The man who noticed this trend in the 80s says now that he was way ahead of his time. His colleagues and seniors thought he was going crazy. Yet in fact, he was onto something. The current situation has proven him right and his sidekicks wrong. It seems the challenges are very real and scary. Yet mankind will redeem itself from this nightmarish scenario as it has so many times in the past whether it was The Bubonic Plague in the Middle Ages or the HIV Epidemic in the 80s.

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