Honey bee decline now confirmed to be mainly due to Viruses, and a new unexpected solution!
Posted on October 8th, 2018

Chandre Dharma wardana.

It has been fashionable to claim that honey bees and wild bees in particular are declining in numbers, and that this is caused by glyphosate, neo-necotinoids and other agrochemicals, especially by eco-activist NGOs and donation-collecting organizations like the AVAAZ team.

However, scientists had suspected that the new types of viruses, parasites, loss of habitat due to the increase of human population and such evolutionary pressures were responsible. Just as humans have to face new types of influenza and other viruses, so do bees, birds and other animals.

In fact, in spite of all this,  many urban-agricultural areas, the bee populations have increased 40 % (see Goulson et al Science 2015 Review article) due to farming.

However, new insight, and a new solution to the declining Bee population has come from a completely unexpected direction. Not from wild flowers, but from MUSHROOMS.

See the very recent research report in Nature (attached below).

[No copyright infringement here]

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-32194-8.pdf

Summary:

Waves of highly infectious viruses sweeping through global honey bee populations have contributed to recent declines in honey bee health. Bees have been observed foraging on mushroom mycelium, suggesting that they may be deriving medicinal or nutritional value from fungi. Fungi are known to produce a wide array of chemicals with antimicrobial activity, including compounds active against bacteria, other fungi, or viruses. We tested extracts from the mycelium of multiple polypore fungal species known to have antiviral properties. Extracts from amadou (Fomes) and reishi (Ganoderma)
fungi reduced the levels of honey bee deformed wing virus (DWV) and Lake Sinai virus (LSV) in a dose-dependent manner. In field trials, colonies fed
Ganoderma resinaceumextract exhibited a 79-fold reduction in DWV and a 45,000-fold reduction in LSV compared to control colonies. These findings
indicate honey bees may gain health benefits from fungi and their antimicrobial compounds

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