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    Host Defense Information — Bee Friendly™

    Groundbreaking Research Gives Hope to Bees

    Groundbreaking Research Gives Hope to Bees

    Collaborative research between Host Defense's team and Washington State University has been published in Nature’s Scientific Reports! Mycelium extracts of polypore mushrooms (Reishi and Amadou) have been shown to confer an immune benefit to bees. This research provides an actionable solution against the stressors threatening bee populations and, in turn, food biosecurity around the world. We’re proud to continue our work in the field of applied mycology to help people and planet.

    Join our "Save the Bees" mailing list by clicking here to receive future correspondence and updates about these exciting developments. Bees urgently need our help.

    Please join us in this global effort and learn how you can take action.  

    The BeeFriendly™ Research Initiative

    The BeeFriendly™ Research Initiative

    What Is BeeFriendly?
    BeeFriendlyis a Host Defense® initiative to help reverse the devastating declines in the global bee population that are critically threatening the world’s food security.

    Why Do Bees Need Help?
    In 2015, Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) rates increased 6% to affect 41% of managed bee colonies nationwide. Some scientists estimate that all managed bee colonies could face total decimation by CCD within five years. Although CCD is not fully understood, it appears to be a destructive synergism of multiple factors. Pathogen (bacterial & viral) infection harms bees already challenged by other stress factors: parasitic mites, pesticides, fungicides and GMO exposure. These stressors of infection, parasitism, toxins, and immune deficits/depression may initiate CCD.

    Why Host Defense?
    Bees need comprehensive immune support to combat the diseases, parasites, and toxins that are driving their decline. Supporting Host Defense means supporting bee recovery research and development.

    Drivers of Colony Decline

    The BeeFriendly™ Research InitiativeMicrobial Viral Pathogens
    Apparently healthy bee colonies may be simultaneously infected by multiple pathogens that are normally held in check by the colony’s immunity. Pathogen infection harms bees already challenged by other stress factors.

    Parasitic Mites
    Varroa mites are parasites that feed on the bodily fluids of bee adults, pupae and larvae. Varroa mites transmit viruses and sap strength from the colony.

    Pesticides, Fungicides & GMO Exposure
    Sub-lethal pesticide exposure can alter bee immunity, behavior, smell, memory, metabolism, flight and mobility, and increase susceptibility to diseases. Exposure to fungicides kills or reduces the beneficial fungi found on pollen, and degrades the nutritional quality of the “bread” that the bees make from it. More research is needed, though many suspect that GMOs may negatively impact bee colonies. 

    The synergistic stressors of infection, parasitism, toxins, and immune deficits/depression may initiate Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). 

    BeeFriendly Approach to Recovery 

    Immune Support 
    Researching the role that extracts of the mycelium of mushrooms can have in strengthening the immune systems of bees and reducing their viral burden.

    Controlling Bee Parasites
    Developing ways to use the common bio-control fungus Metarhizium anisopliae to control the parasitic mite Varroa destructor. Significantly, this fungus is safe for bees, birds and humans and appears to be highly active against Varroa mites. 

    Detoxification Support
    The bee genome has relatively few detoxification genes compared to solitary insects such as flies and mosquitoes. Select mushroom species release myconutrients that may modulate and up-regulate detoxification pathways in bees. 

    BEE F R I E N D L Y™