May 8, 2017 by


Stuff that matters

mushroom for improvement

To save the honey bee, researchers are turning to mushrooms.

Bee populations have been in flux for the past decade. Colony collapse disorder was a crisis — until it wasn’t. And then, last year, bee die-offs were high again.

There are a number of suspects, but one contributor to the decline is varroa mites — nasty parasites that suck bees’ blood, attack larvae, and spread disease, decimating hives.

Researchers at Washington State University have been fighting back by treating hives with mushroom spores and extracts that are toxic to varroa mites. As a bonus, the mushroom’s antiviral properties keep bees healthy and living longer.

Watch this video by Louie Schwartzberg for bioGraphican online magazine about nature and sustainability, to learn more:

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