Why fungi may be a powerful key to reversing the onset of CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder)
For those of you who don’t know about Paul Stamets he is a world leading mycologist and has been a real success story for psychedelic thinking within the scientific community. He has given a number of wonderful talks and been involved directly and indirectly in the publishing of countless papers on the antiviral properties of fungus for human ailments, the use of fungi to reverse the effects of pollution on the biosphere and on the use of fungi as pesticides/insecticides. Indeed he has a famous TED talk viralling the net called 6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World that mentions most of these things.
Essentially, Paul believes that we are in a symbiotic relationship with the plant world that is mediated by fungi. Fungi both facilitate communication within plant networks as well as regenerate and renew the biosphere, they provide us with an essential form of protein, give us with powerful medicines both in terms of their own physiological effects, uses in antibiotic drug production and of course, the powerful spiritual and psychological effects of psilocybin-based “magic” mushrooms. The full extent of the role of fungi in our evolution is a much debated topic and continues to raise questions as we find more and more biomimetic applications and direct uses for the unsung hero of ecology.
In this instance, the solution was so simple that Paul literally could not believe he was the first to see the connection.
Bee’s often nest on rotten tree stumps. Indeed, they tend to favour certain trees that are known for the tree sap being rich with mycological antiviral properties. Most commercial bees are fed on sugar solution rather than in this more natural way and wild bees are limited further by the various forestries over-managing forests. Reducing the amount of wood fall (necessary for healthy fungi growth) and directly combating fungi on the trees themselves.
So Paul finally had his Eureka moment. What if we made “Myco Honey” rich in extracts from those identified tree fungi with anti-viral properties that the bees were previously getting from tree sap? The answer is the bees viral weakness plummeted and life spans extended by a measure previously yet unseen.
Basically a major root of the problem may be that bees simply aren’t getting a richly enough bio-diverse diet, including a necessary amount of mycelium food, making them more vulnerable to pesticides and viral infection.
Listen to Paul delivering his findings and explaining his journey himself in this compelling short talk.