The fate of the honeybees and humans are inexorably linked. The bees provide us our food, clothes (cotton), 2.6 billion pounds of honey and 44 million pounds of beeswax each year, and potent pain medicines. The key to our survival lies in working with nature, not against her.
My colleagues from the University of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently identified as many as 21 pesticides and fungicides in plant pollen found inside honeybee hives.
Bees mix protein-rich plant pollen with honey, known as beebread, and feed it to developing larvae. That protein is of paramount importance because it builds healthy autoimmune systems and bee brains. There are approximately one million neurons in a bee’s brain and some of those neurons are responsible for giving honeybees distinct personalities.
When healthy honeybee larvae were fed pollen contaminated with fungicide, like those used in some apple orchards, they were three times more likely to be attacked by parasite.
America is suffering its worst bee crisis. Last year, 44 percent of U.S. honeybees died; that is an astounding 58 billion bee deaths. Beekeeping in America is quickly becoming a non-starter business.
Is there a way to protect the honeybees from these deadly agricultural chemicals?
My colleagues at Washington State University undertook a longevity stress test on honeybee populations. They found beneficial fungi that bees collect in their environment turn on genes for detoxification pathways in honeybees.
Red belted polypore mushrooms are known to break down pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.
Agricultural fungicides reduce beneficial fungi in honeybee colonies. In turn, this shuts off the bees’ beneficial fungi enabling detoxification of colonies. Instead, beehives accumulate poisons and die; that’s Colony Collapse Disorder.
A solution called mycohoney made from polypore mushroom mycelium or roots is a powerful antidote. When bees are fed mycohoney, it extends their lives significantly.
We need the bees and the bees need polypore mushrooms; it’s nature’s bee medicine.
We also have nature’s flawless blueprint SMART (Sporulating Mushrooms and Repelling Technology) pesticides from fungi that can easily and affordably replace agricultural chemicals, thereby preventing the death of nature on farmer’s fields — including honeybees.
Save nature now.
Earth Doctor Reese Halter is the author of “The Incomparable Honeybee & The Economics of Pollination.”