Will the humble mushroom be the bees knees?
Some exciting news regarding the aptly named Varroa Destructor. This nasty bug originated in Asia (sound familiar?), and destroys bee colonies by feeding off the blood of bees and their larvae, and passing on nasty viruses along the way. Varroa mites are actually quite large in comparison to the size of the bee – some people have likened it to having a pancake stuck on you.
Research is being conducted into the effectiveness of using an antibacterial compound extracted from mushrooms mycelium. The mycelium are the fine filaments found in the root structure of the fungi family. This would be a fabulous chemical free way of hopefully eradicating the Destructor! In Australia, we are luckily not allowed to use chemicals in our hives, making our honey the envy of the world. However in countries like the US, where chemicals are used, Varroa mites have developed a resistance to them. Fingers crossed for fungi!
To learn more about this exciting research, go to https://fungi.com/pages/bees
A Varroa mite on the back of a bee. Source: www.beeinformed.org