Are Mushrooms the Key to Saving the Bees?
There’s this great article in Modern Farmer about mushroom extracts being used to help treat colony collapse disorder, and it got me thinking. If we help Mama Nature along by setting up the best of situations in our yards, then stepping out of the way, will She heal ‘naturally?’
To be more specific: When given a holistic set of factors (organic, no pesticides, permaculture practices, wide variety of native and bee-friendly plants) does the microbiome take care of healing its inhabitants?
Taking inspiration from the article and applying it to my own gardening observations, I’m wondering specifically about mushrooms: Do larger populations of wild mushrooms growing in the microbiome of a permaculture-style yard help make stronger bees?
We have an ever-expanding variety of mushrooms in our organic yard; it’s also full of herbs, bee-friendly flowers, native plants, heirloom veggies, and compost piles. We’ve noticed lately that our bee populations – native as well as honey bees – have soared. I’ve not seen bees that are obviously sick or dying this year, either, and that’s a change. It seems to be exactly the opposite of what’s happening with bees across the country and around the world, and I’m wondering if we’ve created the perfect conditions for Mama Nature to do her healing work.
I don’t know how to test this idea, but for now I’m content to continue my citizen scientist observations and keep working to build an even healthier microbiome for our pollinating friends and the web of life that they – and we – so desperately need to thrive.