Study finds mushroom extract could help save bee population

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USA — A vaccine made from two mushroom species, tinder fungus and Red Reishi mushrooms, could be vital in saving the bee population, according to a study published in Scientific Reports.

The researchers specifically targeted mycelia, a cobweb-like fungal membrane, found in both the mushrooms to create the vaccine.

The team conducted their study with two groups of bees exposed to varroa mites. One group was giving mycelium extract mixed with sugar syrup while the other was only given sugar syrup.

The virus levels of the bees were measured and scientists found that those who consumed mycelium extract saw a 45,000-fold reduction in a virus linked to colony collapse disorder, a phenomenon where bee colonies are wiped out.

Scientists involved in the study say they believe the vaccine would help support the immune system of the bees and to “allow natural immunity to be strong enough to reduce the viruses.”

The study comes amid reports of colony collapse disorder leading to the bee population decreasing by at least 30 percent to 90 percent in some areas, according to a report by the Florida Department of Agriculture.


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