Mushrooms and other fungi types already share a long history with us humans. For example, Hippocrates said sometime around 450 BCE that the amadou mushroom (Fomes fomentarius) was used for cauterizing wounds.
The present day: Ongoing fungi studies
Fast forward to the present day, the amadou mushroom and other fungi species are attracting more attention. That’s because they find many applications in agriculture, pest control, environmental sustainability, and even in medicine. Thanks to Paul Stamets, a world-renowned mycologist.
Paul Stamets strongly believes that fungi can actually help save the world. He continues to explore and rediscover the useful properties of different fungi species. One of his most recent focuses now is about the F. fomentarius.
F. fomentarius in the French Alps
The amadou mushroom or F. fomentarius can be found in North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Rotted logs is one of its favorite places to grow. While in the French Alps, Stamets became curious about the amadou mushroom. He has proposed an interesting hypothesis.
What if bees are attracted to amadou-rotted logs because of a certain immunological benefit? Stamets came up with that hypothesis because he remembered performing studies (about bees) with Dr. Steve Sheppard and Dr. Brandon Hopkins at Washington State University.
They found out that the extracts of the mycelium from the F. fomentarius mushroom help bees overcome viral burdens. Specifically, the extracts helped dramatically reduce the number of deformed wing virus and Lake Sinai virus.
This is what Stamets will do then. He will take a culture from the inside of the amadou mushroom. Then he will grow the mycelium and take an extract. He will then add the extract to the bees’ feedwater.
The F. fomentarius in the French Alps is another phenotype (a mushroom from a different region in the world). He will compare the results from previous studies. Is the French Alps’ amadou mushroom superior or equal to that found in North America when it comes to helping bees overcome viral burdens? Hopefully, we’ll soon find out.