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Unlocking Nature's Harmony: Honeybees and Mushrooms

In our time working with pollinators, we’ve discovered a captivating relationship between insects and mushrooms. Ants, for instance, will carefully cultivate fungi to serve as their primary health and food source within the colony. And the more we’ve delved into the fascinating world of insects, the more we’ve witnessed this interconnectedness with fungi. This has led us down a path of discovery, hoping to learn as much as we can from this symbiotic relationship.

Why Mushrooms Matter:

Mushrooms, having graced the land long before most complex organisms, share a special connection with our planet's landmass. They play a pivotal role in fostering a harmonious, self-sufficient, and regenerative ecosystem, thriving solely on sunlight, water, and minerals forged from star explosions since the beginning of time. Despite lacking a nervous system, fungi seem to transmit information using electrical impulses across thread-like filaments called hyphae. Could there possibly be some sort of interspecies communication between fungi and insects?

The Time-Tested Affinity:

Insects and mushrooms boast a timeless companionship, with hundreds of millions of years of shared existence predating the emergence of other land animals. During an era dominated by plants, fungi, and insects, these three life forms established a cohesive bond that allowed our planet to evolve symbiotically and regeneratively. We may never know just how deep this relationship extends but we love to wonder at the possibilities!

Several of KBT’s apiaries are also home to a healthy fungi population. From time to time, we’ll be lucky enough to witness an intimate little rendezvous between a honeybee and a mushroom. Maybe the bee is swinging by for lunch or perhaps he’s enjoying a mycelium bath!

The photo above shows honeybees engaging with pink oyster mushrooms at one of our sanctuaries. Some are meticulously collecting fragments for the hive, while others use their legs to delicately coat themselves with mushroom extracts. 

Check out the video below to see more!

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