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About Dr. Strickler

Dr. Strickler retired in 2020 as an adjunct instructor at the College of Western Idaho in Nampa, Idaho, where she taught biology.  She is the owner of Pollinator Paradise, a company that is dedicated to the conservation, increase, and management of native bee populations for crop and wildflower pollination through research, education, and commercial management of native pollen bees. She was an assistant professor at the University of Idaho from 1993-2000, supervising their pollination ecology program.

At UI she studied the pollination of alfalfa for seed by the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata.  Prior to working at UI, she had 14 years experience studying solitary bees in Massachusetts, New York State, and Michigan, and 7 years experience studying pests of apple at Michigan State University.  She maintains a web site about the blue orchard bee, Osmia lignaria, and other solitary bees. She sells Binderboard™ and other products for solitary bee management.  She lives in Idaho, and sometimes visits family property in Taos Canyon, her "basecamp" for the New Mexico Native Bee Pollinator Project.
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Dr. Strickler's Resumé 



Karen Strickler

Professional Experience
Additional Professional Activities
Professional Memberships
Interests and Activities



1969 - 1972 University of California Berkeley, CA.
     (B.A..,Biological Science, with honors.) 
1972 - 1978 Harvard University Cambridge, MA
     (Ph.D. Biology.]


Professional Experience

2010 - 2020 Adjunct Instructor, Department of Natural and Physical Sciences, College of Western Idaho, Nampa, ID.

Biology 100 and 100Lab, Concepts in Biology
Biology 2 and Biology 2 Lab, Biodiversity and Organismal Biology
Biology 120 Lab, Environmental Science

2000 - current
Pollinator Paradise

Parma, ID and Taos, NM

A company dedicated to the conservation, increase, and management of native bee populations for crop and wildflower pollination through research, education, and commercial management of native pollen bees.

With honey bee populations increasingly under stress, demand for alternative bees is increasing.  We are working to increase the availability of the native blue orchard bee, Osmia lignaria, and other solitary bees.  We hope to produce the bees in sufficient quantity and quality that large numbers of pollinators are available and affordable for commercial fruit growers.  Our Binderboard nest system is designed to allow for large scale management of solitary cavity nesting bees.  We are working towards creating inexpensive nests and accessories that are affordable for the large commercial fruit grower, including a paper pulp Binderboard®.  At the same time, we offer the discerning small fruit grower and home gardener an attractive, efficient, high end management system for these bees.

2002 - 2012
The Pollinator Paradise Market Garden

In addition to our solitary bee operations, we ran a small market garden for ten years, and hope to resume the garden in a year or two.  Our goal is to provide a local source of pesticide-free unusual greens, produce, and herbs for people who appreciate freshness, flavor, good nutrition, and diversity of color and texture in their meals.

In our market garden we have grown small quantities of a diversity of unusual produce. Most we sold directly to consumers at the Nampa Farmers’ Market (Saturday mornings) and other local markets (e.g., Caldwell) when sufficient time and produce are available.  We also sold direct to customers in the Parma area, and occasional sales to restaurants and retail establishments (e.g., Brick 29 Bistro in Nampa, La Parilla Juarez, in Nampa, Bon Appétit at the College of Idaho in Caldwell, Market Limone in Nampa). 

Our Market Garden and flower beds offer habitat and food for wildlife, including pollinators.  Thus the garden compliments the bee and Binderboard operations of Pollinator Paradise.

Jan. 2006 - Nov. 2008
Vice President, Nampa Farmers' Market Board of Directors
Board member 2004 - 2008.

Dec. 2002 - Dec. 2006
Journalist, Western Canyon Chronicle
Parma, ID

1993 - 2000    
Department of Plant, Soils, and Entomological Sciences, University of Idaho

Parma Research and Extension Center Parma, ID
Assistant Professor, Pollination Ecology

Research on the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, and on alfalfa seed production in the Northwestern USA.

Department of Entomology, Michigan State University 
East Lansing, MI

1987-1993  Assistant Professor
Research on native leafcutting bees (genus Megachile) as part of the Navy's Extremely Low Frequency Communication System Ecological Monitoring Project.

1984-1986  Adjunct Assistant Professor
Research on pest and predatory mites and microlepidoptera in apple orchards. Research on susceptibility of pest and predator mites to secondary plant compounds.

1983-1984  Lecturer
Taught Insect Ecology, Environmental Science, Symposium on Pollination Ecology.

1979-1983  Research Associate
Selected for resistance to pyrethroids in predatory mites.

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Over 24 publications in scientific journals, book chapters, and extension manuals:


Fairey, D. T., N. A. Fairey , K. Strickler  and D. Lundahl   2003.  A comparison of the quality of alfalfa leafcutting bee cocoons at three North American laboratories.  International Herbage Seed Group Newsletter  , July 2003, 36:3-5

Strickler, K. and J. Vinson. 2000. A simulation of the effect of pollinator movement on alfalfa seed production. Environ. Entomol. 29(5):907-918.

Scott, V.L., S.T. Kelley, and K. Strickler. 2000. Reproductive biology of two Coelioxys species in relation to their Megachile hosts (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 93(4):941-948.

Noma, T. and K. Strickler. 1999. Efficacy of Beauveria bassiana for control of lygus bug (Hemiptera: Miridae) in alfalfa seed fields. J. Agric. & Urban Entomol. 16(4):215-233.

Noma, T. and K. Strickler. 2000. Effects of Beauveria bassiana on Lygus hesperus (Hemiptera: Miridae) feeding and oviposition. Environ. Entomol. 29(2):394-402.

Strickler, K. 1999. The impact of flower standing crop and pollinator movement on alfalfa seed yield. Environ. Entomol. 28(6): 1067-1076.

Strickler, K. and S. Freitas. 1999. Interactions between floral resources and bees in commercial alfalfa seed fields. Environ. Entomol. 28(2): 178-187.

Strickler, K. 1997. Flower production and pollination in Medicago sativa L. grown for seed: model and monitoring studies. In, K.W. Richards, ed. Proc. Int’l Symp. on Pollination Acta Horticulturae 437, ISHS pp. 109-113.

Strickler, K. 1996 Seed and bee yields as a function of forager populations: alfalfa pollination as a model system. J. Kansas Entomol. Soc., 69(4) suppl.: 201-215.

Strickler, K., V.L. Scott, and R.L. Fischer. 1996 Comparative nesting ecology of two sympatric leafcutting bees that differ in body size (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). J. Kansas Entomol. Soc. 69(1):26-44.

Packer, L., A. Dzinas, K. Strickler, and V. Scott. 1995. Genetic differentiation between two host "races" and two species of cleptoparasitic bees and between their two hosts. Biochemical Genetics 33:97-109.

Strickler, K. and J. Mark Scriber.  1994.  ELF Communications System Ecological Monitoring Program:  Pollinating Insect Studies - Final Report.  IITRI Technical Report D06212-6.  IITResearch Institute, Chicago, IL.

Scott, V., and K. Strickler. 1992. New host records for two species of Anthrax (Diptera: Bombyliidae). J. Kansas Ent. Soc. 65:393-402.

Strickler, K., N. Cushing, M. Whalon, and B.A. Croft. 1987. Mite (Acari) species composition in Michigan apple orchards. Environ. Entomol. 16:30-36.

Strickler, K., and B.A. Croft. 1985. Comparative rotenone toxicity in the predator, Amblyseius fallacis (Acari: Phytoseidae) and the herbivore, Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae) grown on lima bean and cucumber. Environ. Entomol. 14:343-346.

Strickler, K., and M. Whalon. 1985. Microlepidoptera species composition in Michigan apple orchards. Environ. Entomol. 14:486-495.

Mullin, C.A., B.A. Croft, K. Strickler, F. Matsumura, and J.R. Miller. 1982. Detoxification enzyme differences between an herbivorous and predatory mite. Science 217:1272.

Strickler, K. 1982. Investment per offspring by a specialist bee: Does it change seasonally? Evolution 36:1098-1100.

Stickler, K., and B.A. Croft. 1982. Selection for permethrin resistance in the predatory mite Amblyseius fallacis. Ent. Exp. & Appl. 31:339-345.

Strickler, K, and B.A. Croft. 1981. Variation in permethrin and azinphosmethyl resistance in populations of Amblyseius fallacis (Acarina: Phytoseiidae). Environ. Entomol. 10:233-236.

Strickler, K. 1979. Specialization and foraging efficiency of solitary bees. Ecology 60(5):998-1009.

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Strickler, K. V. &  J. H. Cane, (eds.). 2003.  For Non-native Crops, Whence Pollinators for the Future?  Thomas Say Publications, Entomological Society of America. 

Miller, J.R., and K. Strickler. 1984. Plant-herbivore relationships: Finding and accepting host plants. In: W.J. Bell and R.T. Carde (eds.), Chemical Ecology of Insects, Chapman and Hall, London, pp. 127-157.

Croft, B.A., and K. Strickler. 1983. Natural enemy resistance to pesticides: Documentation, characterization, theory and application. In: G.P. Georghiou and T. Saito (eds.), Pest Resistance to Pesticides: Challenge and Prospects. Proc. USDA/JAPAN NSF Conference, Plenum Press, New York.


Strickler, K. 1997. The Forgotten Pollinators. Stephen L. Buchmann and Gary Paul Nabhan. The Scientist’s Bookshelf, American Scientist 85:189-190.

Strickler, K. 1990. Roubik: Ecology and natural history of tropical bees. Ecology 71(5):2029.


Stricker, K., C. Baird, and R. Bitner. 1996. Sampling alfalfa leafcutting bee cocoons to assess quality. University of Idaho Current Information Series 1040.  (Available on the web:http://www.pollinatorparadise.com/ Samplingtxt.htm)


Strickler, K, K.Laughlin, and A. Agenbroad, 2008. Harvest Frequency, Yield, and Economics of Summer Squash  Farmer/Rancher grant from the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, Project Number, FW06-042, Final Report.

Strickler, K. 2007.  Exploring Alternate Conceptions of Flowering Phenology with an Interactive Systems Model.  In. Gardener, C.A.C., M.A.Harris, R.W. Hellmich, H.T. Horner, J.D. Nason, R.G. Palmer, J.J. Tabke, R.W. Thornburg, and M.P. Widrlechner, eds. 9th International Pollination Symposium on Plant-Pollinator Relationships - Diversity in Action: Program and Abstracts.  Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA  212pp.  
(Download the poster.  3.5Mbytes; this may be slow.  Requires MSPowerpoint)

Strickler, K. 2005.  Envisioning Alfalfa Pollination - Let's Move from Color to HDTV to Maximize Yields. Forage Seed News, 12 (1):14-20

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Additional Professional Activities

$275,000 in grant funds generated at the University of Idaho.

$1,180,000 in grant funds generated at Michigan State University

55 presentations at professional meetings.

40+ presentations at grower education meetings.
Most recently presentations to the New Mexico Organic Farmers and Gardeners Expo in 2002 and 2003, to the New Mexico Fruit Growers Association 2001-2003, to Payette Master Gardeners 2005, to Pacific Consumer Cooperative (PCC) 2007, to National SARE Conference 2008, to Idaho Green Expo 2008, and to WSARE subregional conference, Spokane, WA 2009.

Advisor to 3 graduate students. Graduate committee member for 6 students.

Employed numerous high school and college undergraduate field and research assistants.

2007 – 2009   Volunteer instructor for Living on the Land course, offered by Cooperative Extension Service in Ada, Canyon; Payette and Gem Counties.  Taught units on Integrated Pest Management and on Market Gardening.        

Lecturer or teaching assistant in courses on Ecology, Ethology, Animal Communication, Invertebrate Biology, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology.

Organized and moderated a symposium for the National Meeting of the Entomological Society of America, Las Vegas, NV, Nov. 10, 1998. with Dr. James Cane (USDA ARS Bee Labs, Logan, UT). Title: For Non-Native Crops, Whence Pollinators Of The Future? See publication.

4-H leader and coordinator in entomology, wildflowers, natural resources.

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Interests and Activities

Pollinator Paradise sponsored the New Mexico Native Bee Pollinator Project, working to develop native bees as pollinators of fruit and other crops.

Pollination walks and presentations available for Botanic Gardens, Farm Museums, Educational Institutions, Garden Clubs, Master Gardeners, Landscape and Agricultural Industries, etc. Contact Dr. Strickler for fees.

Education about management of the blue orchard bee and other pollen bees available on the web: www.pollinatorparadise.com and by consultation. Binderboard™ nesting systems and other bee management products are available through this web site.

Karen is also on the board, along with husband John Vinson, of the Boise Contra Dance Society, and is owned by three adorable cats: Joey Charlie and Ellie

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31140 CIRCLE DR. • PARMA, ID 83660
26284 US HIGHWAY 64. • TAOS, NM 87571
PHONE 208-722-7808 • 505-737-9258. • FAX 208-722-7306 

Copyright © 2001, Karen Strickler. All rights reserved.               
Revised January, 2003
Revised January 2008
Revised February 2009
Revised September 2014