I just dropped the price of
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for a wee bit.

 

 

uses include:
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Honeybees foraging fungi in the woods  RSS feed

 
Joshua Parke
Posts: 157
Location: Northern New Mexico, Latitude:35 degrees N, Elevation:6000'
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Gregory T. Russian wrote:That's where we all should (re)start - the proper environment.
Once the bee is given back the proper environment it should have, the bee itself will take care of the most other issues (outside of artificial toxic poisoning by humans, obviously).


Thinking along these lines a bit more... I am recalling that a natural log hive found in a tree or in a fallen branch/trunk will have fungus growing on the woodBees have been observed drinking the liquid from mycelium on wood chips/branches.  I think I heard paul stamets say this, but can't recall.  Another thing that I dwell on are ants in a hive.  Lots of people try to create a hive that ants can't get into, from what I recall the ants don't harm the hive in any way, they actually enhance it.....but they take a little honey.  Now of course I've seen tiny ants crawling from one end of a house to the other for food....I wouldn't want to see thousands of ants marching through my hives.

LOL I just had images of a hive with shitake mushrooms growing on it. That brings an idea I must try at some point....making a hive and innoculating it with shitake mushroom dowels...then planting it into the soil, keep the hive itself above soil level, but have a portion of "log" a foot or two in the soil.
 
Michael Cox
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Stamets is not a beekeeper. He proposed some ideas about bees self-medicating with mushrooms. Periodically it gets hyped up again in sensationalist click-bait news articles, but in the years since he proposed it no one has found any serious use for it. It just doesn't seem to be important.
 
Joshua Parke
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Location: Northern New Mexico, Latitude:35 degrees N, Elevation:6000'
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In this video he isn't proposing the idea, he's sharing the discovery of what has been found and how it impacts the health of hives.  He gets to the heart of the topic around 12:20.  But everything he talks about before that is pertinent.

This is the video where I heard that info from.  It's also from a topic that was created a couple years ago here in the bee section.  Here's the video..



I love that short 3 min or less video at the end he closes with, I've watched it a couple dozen times or more throughout the years.   It's on youtube by itself if you enjoy it like I do.

And here is the topic.  Paul Stamets New Lecture - fungi, bees, trees, bears and resistance to viruses and colony collapse.

I have a different opinion about whether or not medicinal fungi and plants are important and beneficial to insects/bees.  When they collect nectar from herbs and fungi in my gardens, I know they are getting nectar that they can increase their health on.  Thyme nectar, for example, is medicinal to the hive, and they collect it.  They also collect "nectar" from medicinal fungi, which increases the health of the hive.  Same as me drinking chaga tea, my system is healthier from drinking it.
 
Ken W Wilson
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Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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This site has a lot of good information, http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm .
 
Michael Cox
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Ok, so his evidence is that bees were observed collecting moisture from fungi? Bees collect moisture from all sorts of sources - swimming pools, puddles of animal urine, drips from air conditioning units, damp soil and holes in the ground. It is not at all surprising that a location of moist wood chips with fungal growth would be a reliable water source that bees would learn and return to visit. Would my observation of bees visiting stagnant puddles of cow piss be considered evidence of something? They were ignoring the lovely fresh drinking trough 6 feet away.

The reality is bees will collect moisture from sources that are highly scented (urine, salts, chlorine from a pool etc...), close to the hive and reliable day to day. I would want to see a lot more evidence that that bees happened to visit his mushroom patch to draw any kind of conclusions.
 
Joshua Parke
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Yes, bees are well known to collect moisture where the opportunity arises.  But the talk is about how fungi play an important role to the health of bees.  Listen from 12:20 to roughly 15 minutes.   The whole talk is worth listening to, it's pretty good.  I think the evidence is from the studies done, not observation.  Fungi have medicinal benefits that translate across multiple species.
 
Gregory T. Russian
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Location: Mad City, Wisconsin
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Joshua Parke wrote:Yes, bees are well known to collect moisture where the opportunity arises.  But the talk is about how fungi play an important role to the health of bees.  Listen from 12:20 to roughly 15 minutes.   The whole talk is worth listening to, it's pretty good.  I think the evidence is from the studies done, not observation.  Fungi have medicinal benefits that translate across multiple species.


I would not be too concerned about this "mushroom talk".
Do remember that Apis M. species exists in North America for only very, very brief moment (in evolutionary terms).

Apis m. is really a very young exotic species for US to come up with some sort of solid bug/fungi connection.
It takes much longer than that for any connection to set in (outside of immediate nutrition connections, you know, edible nectar and pollen).
It is possible for such connections to exist in the home land (Old World) where the bees coexisted with the rest of the flora/fauna for 40-50 millions of years. Maybe.
 
Joshua Parke
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From the talk he mentions that the bees are getting something they can only get from fungi.  Without the fungi there are genes turned off in the bee.  And without the genes turned on, the detoxification pathways of the bee are turned off, then they begin to hyperaccumulate chemicals from the environment. 

The key point I learned from the talk is that fungi play an important role to bees.  I don't think it's the specific species of fungi native to one area that is important.  At some point the Apis genus began using beneficial fungi to have evolved to where they are now, having genes switched on by fungi.

If they are adapting to the native flora so quickly then they would adapt to the various exudates and fungi, as quickly....I would think.?
 
David Livingston
master steward
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I'm not so sure about the role of fungi as such but mould and bacteria certainly are vital in the production of bee bread
Thus the role of fungicides in killing bees

David
 
Gregory T. Russian
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Location: Mad City, Wisconsin
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Joshua Parke wrote:........If they are adapting to the native flora so quickly then they would adapt to the various exudates and fungi, as quickly....I would think.?


Well, let us call the finding nectar/pollen sources - macro-adaptation.
So, if you don't do your macro-adaptation in a matter of days, you die of starvation.
Next, if you, being an exotic species, don't figure out which of the local major sources of nectar/pollen abundant enough, so to save enough for the winter in a matter of weeks/months - you again die and very quickly so.
That simple. Macro-adaptations.

Now, let us talk about micro-adaptions next.
I am yet to see someone who understands micro-adaptations.
Many people claim they do and yet it is the grass-root level folks, (simple Simons, so to speak) who drive the treatment-free beekeeping.
So much for the academic experts in micro-adaptions.
Remain a skeptic.
Keep my bees treatment-free no matter what the professors are saying (most experts still INSIST I must treat my bees, mind you).
 
Michael Cox
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Joshua Parke wrote:From the talk he mentions that the bees are getting something they can only get from fungi.  Without the fungi there are genes turned off in the bee.  And without the genes turned on, the detoxification pathways of the bee are turned off, then they begin to hyperaccumulate chemicals from the environment. 

The key point I learned from the talk is that fungi play an important role to bees.  I don't think it's the specific species of fungi native to one area that is important.  At some point the Apis genus began using beneficial fungi to have evolved to where they are now, having genes switched on by fungi.

If they are adapting to the native flora so quickly then they would adapt to the various exudates and fungi, as quickly....I would think.?


Fungi are important to bees. Of course they are. Bee bread is a fermented pollen and nectar paste, and fungi is important in breaking down the pollen protein sheaths and making the pollen grains more digestible to bees. A super important role. Bees have adapted to these specific fungal strains for literally MILLIONS of years, in constant close proximity. They are symbiotic inside the hive itself. However THOSE fungi are not the ones he is talking about, and emphasizing in his speech and various publications. It is faulty logic to leap to the conclusions he is making, and not even close to being justified by the evidence.

The human parallel is to say "Yeast is important for humans in making bread. Yeast is a fungus. This pretty toadstool is a fungus so must serve some important function for humans. Now go away and eat it because I say so."

I have a lot of respect for Stamets work; he has done amazing practical things using fungi to re-mediate toxic wastes and oils. However on this topic his claims are massively overreaching, and not supported by evidence.
 
Joshua Parke
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Location: Northern New Mexico, Latitude:35 degrees N, Elevation:6000'
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Michael Cox wrote:and not supported by evidence.


Except for the evidence referenced in the talk.  When one of the worlds foremost leading mycologists sees bees going out of their way to get to the mycelium of a medicinal fungi, he’s going to look into it.  Then the university studies his observations and finds that the bees are benefiting from these medicinal fungi.  For myself, I find it worth listening to his observations and the evidence on what has been learned.

Fungi spores can float into the stratosphere, they are literally all over the world, and if the conditions are right, they will grow.  So the medicinal fungi the university is using, is already in the bees genetic makeup.  To have genes activated by these compounds found from these different medicinal fungi, they must have receptor sites specifically for it.  Which means they have evolved for millions of years to where they have formed symbiotic relationships with these various beneficial medicinal fungi.

For me the human parallel would be more like...  Chaga has various medicinal aspects to it that the human body is receptive to and benefits from.  Lets find out why and how.  And let us study this to see if there are other varieties of medicinal fungi that the body also finds beneficial and has increased health from.

The most important thing that I gleaned from the video, is that I have another beneficial reason to be planting various types of edible and medicinal fungi logs around my property.  If bees use medicinal fungi as a way to increase their overall health…I am interested, and willing to encourage the interaction.  Plus another huge benefit is that all the honey/propolis/etc., collected from the hives on my property, will be loaded with medicinal compounds from all the various nectars and exudates found in all the different varieties of trees, bushes, fungi, herbs, etc…  So if the bees are benefiting from it, I find that pretty awesome.  It’s just one more thing that brings up the health of the eco-system.  Plus, I’ll have some nice shiitake mushrooms for the stir fry.
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
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Just an observation....I have seen honeybees methodically collecting rust spores from pustules on a willow leaf, in the fall when other sources of pollen are rare in my climate.  A bit of internet research turned up a few other references to this. 
 
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