The Bees Need Our Help!
Last year, Colony Collapse Disorder rates increased to affect 41% of managed colonies nationwide. If this keeps up, some scientists estimate that these colonies could face total decimation in five years.
Though there's a lot we still don't know about Colony Collapse Disorder, many factors seem to feed into it, including pathogen infection, parasitic mites, pesticides, fungicides, and GMO exposure.
Bees don't just produce that delicious honey we love so much. They're vital to the production of more than 100 types of crops we eat every day, as well as the plants that feed livestock. Colony Collapse Disorder doesn't just affect bees, it poses a threat to food security everywhere!
How is Host Defense Helping?
In 2014, Paul Stamets of Host Defense steamed up with Steve Shappard (chair of deparment of entomology at Washington State University) in a research initiative called BeeFriendly™ to help reduce these declines in global bee populations.
Last year, 300 sets of bees consumed Host Defense® mushroom extracts via their feed water. These extracts, especially Reishi and Chaga, showed substantial benefits to the bees, including extending their longevity and reducing viral burden by more than 75%! Some mycopesticide fungi have even shown promising signs of being able to eliminate some of the parasites that decimate beehives without harming the bees!
How Can You Help?
Part of Host Defense's proceeds go to this project, so next time you're at the Co-op you can stock up on some of your favorite Host Defense products! You can also donate to this initiative directly. Here are some other ways you can help bees out:
- Plant bee-friendly flowers and herbs in your garden and yard.
- Leave weeds like clover, dandelions, and local wildflowers in your yard
- Don't use chemicals and pesticides in your yard
- Buy local raw honey (the Co-op carries several kinds!)
- Put a small bowl of fresh water in your garden
- Buy local produce from farms you trust not to use pesticides
- Don't be afraid of honeybees! They're vegetarian and only sting humans as a last resort. Learn how to distinguish between them and carnivorous wasps.
- Reach out to your elected representatives and sign petitions to let the government know that initiatives that protect bee populations are important to you.