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Author Topic: The benefits of wood-rotting fungi  (Read 2296 times)

Offline Al Stein

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The benefits of wood-rotting fungi
« on: February 21, 2017, 06:20:00 am »
As a mycologist, I wanted to make sure that the latest fungal research gets in front of the bee keeping community.
Bees have been found to seek out several species of wood-rotting fungi. They have been seen sipping from the sugar-rich fungal roots.
A preliminary study showed that access to these fungi substantially reduced bees viral load.
One of the theories of CCD, Colony Collapse Disorder, is that farming use of anti-fungals has reduced the availability of these beneficial fungi.
This is still being studied, it's not peer reviewed, and it's not conclusive, but I feel it's important enough for the bee community to know about it.

These are known species of fungi that bees seek out:

Ararikon,                 laricifomes officinalis
Tinder Polypore,       fomes fomentarius
Red Belted Polypore, fomitopsis pinicola
Garden Giant,          stropharia rugosoannulata
Turkey Tail,             trametes versicolor
Chaga,                   inonotus obliquus
Red Reishi,              gandoderma lucidum
Red Reishi,              gandoderma resinaceum

They grow on willow, birch, and fir, although the Garden Giant will grow with corn.

These fungi are assumed to help the bees through their anti-viral properties and thus contribute to their general well being.
I haven't found any bee supply companies offering these fungi.
I have found a couple of fungi supply companies that sell Mushroom Growing Kits for many of these species, but not all of them.
The growing kits are just rotting wood, easy enough, and bees will find them on their own when they want them.

My goal is to help stop CCD, and if fungi can help with that, wonderful!
I hope this helps.


Offline Al Stein

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Re: The benefits of wood-rotting fungi
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2017, 03:03:31 pm »
I got some questions about this on another site so I wanted to add a few things.

First of all, I should call them mushrooms instead of fungi. People like the word better.
For the record though, mushrooms are just the fruit of fungi.

Second, there is no risk here. This is just a list of the mushrooms that bees like, and evidence that they improve bee health.
These mushrooms are already in the environment, bees already seek them out, mushroom growers see bees on their crops but don't know why.

In the wild, bears scratch trees and these mushrooms colonize the scratches. Then bees find the mushrooms on the tree scratches.

Anyone can buy some mushroom grow kits, put them in their yard and if bees like them, they'll see for themselves.
All you are doing is bringing some of the old growth forest into your back yard.

Offline TheBroodLord

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Re: The benefits of wood-rotting fungi
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2017, 03:39:31 am »
Very interesting. Do you know where I could read more about this?

Offline Al Stein

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Re: The benefits of wood-rotting fungi
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2017, 06:16:39 am »
Probably the easiest is the video of Paul Stamets speaking at a Bioneers summit. Catch it on YouTube.

If you're wanting pure mushroom info (no sales) try mushroomexpert.com

The biggest variety of grow kits I could find was at mushrooms.firelightheritagefarm.com

There probably won't be much more info on these mushrooms unless someone decides to make a profitable product.

These are just part of a healthy, varied diet. Similar to how we don't see ads for celery. Good for us, but not profitable.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: The benefits of wood-rotting fungi
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2017, 11:59:43 am »
Bees always seem to prefer rotting equipment.  Beekeepers usually don't...
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline Andy L.

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Re: The benefits of wood-rotting fungi
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2017, 10:09:18 am »
In the magazine North American Permaculture, No. 3 Winter 2016 issue have a great article on fungi and honeybees. The article is on Paul Stamets and Dr. Steve Shepperd's work. I have follow Paul Stamets works the last few years. Plus, read one of his books.

Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: The benefits of wood-rotting fungi
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2019, 02:50:30 pm »
Bumping up this thread. 
I see bees all the time in my log berm (hugelkulture) that has a huge variety of fungi.

Offline StraferX

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Re: The benefits of wood-rotting fungi
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2019, 08:33:42 am »
I read information the other day that the bees use the resins from fungi to enhance the propolis and it changes the medical value of said propolis. I would love to find more research on that. Fungi covers 99% of everything on earth and is thought to be the key to life, I guess the bees are pretty smart.
As for me and my house, We WILL serve the Lord.

Offline StraferX

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Re: The benefits of wood-rotting fungi
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2019, 07:01:25 pm »
Found a very interesting video on youtube about this subject of fungi and bees even a new way to feed the bees. video gets interesting about half way through. Must research this more.

As for me and my house, We WILL serve the Lord.

Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: The benefits of wood-rotting fungi
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2019, 12:41:38 am »
Paul Stamets made this entertaining and fascinating TED talk years ago:

https://www.ted.com/talks/paul_stamets_on_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world?language=en

Odd that there hasn't been more public awareness on the topic but then, it's not a high-profit medicine, right?
Yet, estrogen-dominant bees don't seem to get cancer....

Regulation of cancer cell signaling pathways by mushrooms and their bioactive molecules:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29680270
Fungal/Mycelium apoptosis of human breast cancer cells:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29805742
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26648109
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29604909

Offline herbhome

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Re: The benefits of wood-rotting fungi
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2019, 01:08:26 am »
I find this thread fascinating. My property is against thousands of acres of national forest. Many of the mentioned fungi thrive there. I think I will make a point of looking for my bees foraging around in there this year. If I observe something I'll let ya'll know. :smile:
« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 06:02:02 pm by herbhome »
Neill

Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: The benefits of wood-rotting fungi
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2019, 01:31:52 am »
https://beemushroomed.com/cbf-about

Oh man, I'm gonna "hack" his bee feeder.  I can't do the labyrinth feeder, but he gives the contents:

"1% or less by volume of one or more aqueous ethanolic extracts of the mycelium of Ganoderma lucidum Ganoderma resinaceum, Fomes fomentarius, Trametes versicolor, Fomitopsis officinalis, Ganoderma applanatum, Inonotus obliquus, or combinations thereof."

I have ganoderma resinaceum in my hugelkultur berms. I wouldn't want to get something wrong by liquefying  it in methanol or a catalyst.  So I'll just use water.

I've already been using Smilax (Greenbriar weed, a/k/a Sasparilla) as anti-fungal for plants in my garden. I live in the wettest part of Florida and need antifungals.  I just throw a couple of Smilax roots in a 5-gal bucket of water for a week, then pour the orange water into a pump sprayer.  It's free non-toxic fungicide, and when you're done, you can use the rest for root beer. lol!

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: The benefits of wood-rotting fungi
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2019, 10:23:22 pm »
Basidiomycetes includes mushrooms, toadstools, puff balls, rust, and smut.  Since bees are forest creatures it stands to reason that they would have a symbiotic relationship with this class of plants.

I'm glad to have found a rare wooded area for my apiary.