Bee Boster
Product design | Sustainable Design  | Concept dev.  


Bees around the world are facing declining populations due to various threats such as habitat loss, pathogens, pesticides, and climate change. However, an unlikely ally could help support bee populations: fungi. More specifically, mycelium, the vegetative part of fungi that consists of branching threads, may provide significant benefits to bees that could help strengthen and grow their populations.

Recent studies, including a noteworthy analysis published in Scientific Reports, have demonstrated the promising potential of mycelium extracts, particularly those from polypore mushrooms such as Reishi and Amadou, to enhance the immunity of honey bees. The study involved bee’s drinking mushroom mycelium from two strains of mushroom: reishi and amadou. It started out as a controlled, caged experiment, where the bees suffering from Deformed Wing Virus and the Lake Sinai Virus were fed a small amount of mycelia extract each day (or as we call it, mushroom juice).

By bolstering bees' immune systems and overall health, these mycelium extracts could help safeguard bee populations against the pathogens and other stress factors that threaten colonies worldwide. Strengthening bee immunity in this manner may provide a viable solution to the decline of these crucial pollinators and help ensure food security for humans. According to the analysis in Scientific Reports, extracts of Reishi and Amadou mushrooms were found to activate immune responses in bees and elevate levels of antimicrobial peptides, which are essential defenders against disease-causing microbes.

When infected with a common bee pathogen, bees that consumed these mushroom extracts had higher survival rates. These findings highlight the possibility of leveraging the immune-boosting properties of certain mushroom extracts as a natural way to protect bees and promote colony health.

With bee populations facing severe threats from diseases, parasites, pesticides, and habitat loss, such a solution could be a promising step towards sustaining these indispensable pollinators and the global food system that depends on them. Overall, this research reveals an exciting new avenue for potentially mitigating threats to bees and improving ecological resilience. (Source:

There are other ways mycelium can help support bee health and colonies:

Providing Nutrition: Mycelium produces many nutrients like amino acids, enzymes, and carbohydrates that bees require and consume. Some species of fungi, like yeasts, produce foods that bees feed on directly like bee bread, a fermented pollen food source. The mycelium helps break down the pollen and increases its nutritional value and digestibility for the bees. The additional nutrition provided by fungal foods can help support bee growth, reproduction, and overall health.

Increasing Access to Water: Mycelium networks in the soil can help increase water retention and access. Bees can obtain water from the extensive mycelium networks, especially in dry areas where water is scarce. The additional water access provided by mycelium is important for temperature regulation in bee colonies, making honey, and raising bee larvae.

Providing Habitat: The complex networks of mycelium in the soil also create more habitable space for bees to build their colonies. The mycelium helps aerate the soil, provides additional structure, and releases nutrients that can support the growth of plants that bees use for forage. The improved soil conditions and additional forage created by mycelium can provide bees with the resources they need to thrive.

While fungi and bees have a long history of interaction, more research is needed to determine how mycelium can be leveraged to help strengthen and support bee populations. However, mycelium provides promising nutritional, medical, and ecological benefits that could help contribute significantly to the health, growth, and longevity of bee colonies worldwide. Supporting the symbiosis between bees and fungi may be an important step towards protecting these critical pollinators.

The long-standing symbiosis between fungi and bees highlights how mycelium can enhance bee health and resilience. For millions of years, fungi have provided bees with nutrition and medical benefits. Harnessing this symbiosis to support today's bee populations may be crucial to protecting these critical pollinators.

Further exploring the fungi-bee symbiosis and developing mycelium extracts to improve bee well-being could lead to promising new ways of strengthening and safeguarding bee colonies worldwide. Safeguarding bees is essential to ensuring sustainable food systems and healthy, biodiverse ecosystems.

Leveraging the innate ability of mycelium to confer immune benefits and bolster bee resilience highlights the crucial mutualistic relationship that has developed between fungi and bees over the course of their long co-evolutionary history. Bees and fungi have shared an intimate symbiosis for eons, with fungi providing bees essential nutritional and medicinal advantages. Harnessing this symbiosis to support and safeguard modern bee populations, which are indispensable pollinators, may prove vital to shielding these critical pollinators in the face of diverse threats.

The extensive co-evolution of bees and fungi has resulted in fungi supplying bees with fundamental benefits that are essential to bee health and resilience. Fungi provide not only key nutrients to nourish bee colonies but also critical antimicrobial compounds that bolster bee immunity. This longstanding, mutually beneficial relationship underscores the profound interdependence between bees and fungi, with each dependent on the other to thrive and persist.

Leveraging the ability of fungi, specifically mycelium, to enhance bee health may be crucial to sustaining bee populations in an era when they face risks ranging from pathogens to pesticides to habitat loss. Bees are essential pollinators for both natural ecosystems and agricultural crops, so their declines pose a serious threat. Strengthening bee resilience through the fungi with which they share an ancient bond may be vital to the preservation of these critical pollinators and the environments and food systems that depend on them.

By better understanding and harnessing the symbiosis between fungi and bees, we can develop natural and targeted solutions to support bee populations and the ecological health of our planet. The potential for mycelium to improve bee immunity and resilience demonstrates the importance of this symbiosis and the possibilities for future research. Bolstering the symbiotic relationship between fungi and bees may be crucial to protecting these essential pollinators and the environments they support.

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