Could The Mushroom Save The Honeybee?

Aug 25, 2015
Katja Schulz / Flckr Commons

Honeybee populations have been plummeting for nearly a decade throughout the United States.

Now, two scientists in Washington state are teaming up to help the pollinator, and they’re investigating an unconventional source for their remedy: the mushroom.

Danielle Tinker / Beyond Toxics

Governor Kate Brown has proclaimed this Saturday Oregon Native Bees Conservation Awareness Day.  There will be events in Eugene celebrating the pollinators.

Wikimedia Commons

Honey bees around the world are facing serious challenges. In recent years, annual hive losses have risen to 50 percent or more. Now, a California non-profit is working to help farmers and other landowners create habitat for bees and other pollinators.

People holding outdoor gatherings might be facing intrusions from wasps and yellow jackets. As summer winds down, the insects are likely searching for protein-rich food before overwintering.

According to the Oregon Department of Agriculture, many people assume applying pesticides to their flower beds will get rid of the nuisances. But many products end up harming honeybees instead. ODA spokeswoman Rose Kachadoorian says spraying insecticides around the yard won't do much good.

Cassandra Profita / Earthfix

The death and disappearance of  bees is raising questions and concerns from Northwest neighborhoods all the way up to the White House. Some attribute bee declines to the use of certain pesticides – especially after chemicals killed thousands of bees in Oregon. But as EarthFix reporter Cassandra Profita explains, researchers are still trying to determine how much of the nation’s bee problem stems from pesticide exposure.

Beekeeper George Hansen just got some good news.

Hansen: “So they’ve made some honey here.”

Desmond O'Boyle

Oregon Country Fair's Community Village is a collection of booths providing information about social issues.

Tucked away is a booth called Wild Edibles. Here people can learn about natural foliage that can be consumed or used as medicine. There's also a small section dedicated to a vital component to wild edible plants: Bees.

KLCC's Desmond O'Boyle took some time to visit the Fair's only living bee hive and found some women bringing attention to saving the bees.

copyright, 2014 KLCC

Beyond Toxics

After bee die-offs this month in Eugene and Beaverton, the Oregon Agriculture Department is placing a 6 month ban on pesticides containing two active ingredients that are dangerous to the insects. 


Rachael McDonald

A national report released Wednesday finds that half of the plants sold at major retailers as "bee friendly" are actually poisonous to bees. The plants are pre-treated with pesticides that are harmful to pollinators according to the study by Friends of the Earth.

Neonicotinoids are pesticides that kill bees and other pollinators. Lisa Arkin is with Eugene-based Beyond Toxics. She says retailers don't label plants to indicate whether they've been treated with these chemicals.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture has suspended the license of the company responsible for more than 1,000 bee deaths earlier this week in Eugene. Glass Tree Care and Spray Service applied pesticides at an apartment complex in North Eugene on 17 linden trees, the same types of trees involved in thousands of bee deaths last year in Oregon. Bruce Pokarney is the Communication Director for the ODA. He says before the company can resume applying pesticides they must adhere to certain conditions.


Several hundred honey bees and bumblebees died at a Eugene apartment complex Tuesday after trees on the property were sprayed with pesticides. The state is investigating.

The State Department of Agriculture found out about the bee deaths from a TV report and sent an investigator out Wednesday. Bruce Pokarney is with ODA: