Possible Connections Between Polypore Mushroom Growth And Areas Of High Apis Mellifera Population Density

Faculty Sponsor

Jon-Paul McCool


Arts and Sciences


Environmental Science, Biology, Geography

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-27-2023


In the past few decades, populations of both native bees and non-native bees such as Apis mellifera (the honeybee) have been in a steady decline. This downturn has occurred due to a number of factors, but habitat loss and large-scale pesticide usage have played a large role in the population decline. However, in a recent study from Nature, Stamets et al. learned that polypore mushroom extracts can create protections against viruses when ingested by honeybees. With their general health improved, honeybees would be able withstand the effects of pesticide use and habitat loss more easily and could potentially lead to more stability within bee populations. The USDA published population density data for Bee populations for the year 2012, within this project I've created a suitability analysis for the growth of polypore mushroom species to compare the USDA Bee population data. By using a correlation test, I've been able to further analyze the relationships between not only polypore mushroom growth and bee populations, but also bee population density to specific variables as well. The correlation between honeybee populations and the Polypore suitability layer data was negative along with the correlation between honeybee populations and woodland cover being negative as well. However, there was a neutral correlation between honeybee populations and average temperature as well as honeybee populations and average precipitation. Perhaps with the inclusion of improved woodland cover data, humidity, soil, updated honeybee population data, and solar data further study on this ecological phenomenon could be achieved.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Hi, I'm Amelia King and I'm an Environmental Science and Biology major at Valparaiso University. I'm very interested in the interactions between fungi and insects. So last year when I saw bees interacting with mushrooms, I came across some very interesting articles that depicted how these interactions can decrease the bees' risk of injury, predation, or illness. I then chose to work on this project for my Environmental Applications of GIS course here on campus.

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