Visit the orchards of Northern New Mexico for locally grown fruit

NMNBPP Participants

Table of Contents:

How growers and landowners became participants.
Where were they located?
What did I do?
Bee Release Experiments
Orchards for 2002
Participation Form


How orchardists and landowners became 2001 participants.

Many thanks to the New Mexico Apple Council , and to the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service, for inviting me to speak at the New Mexico Apple Growers Annual Conference on Feb. 16, 2001.  As a result of that conference I received names and addresses for 9 apple growers who were interested in participating in the New Mexico Native Bee Pollinator Project.  Also participating was  the research orchard at the NMSU Sustainable Agricultural Science Center in Alcalde.  Additional properties were added to the study as a result of an article by Mary Katherine Delong in the April 12 issue of the Taos News, and at the suggestion of county extension agents, agricultural educators, and others.  I was not able to get to every orchard that was recommended to me, or that I would have liked to visit this year.  More orchards will be added in 2002.  

Top of Page

 Where were they located?

Participating orchards range from 3 to 36 acres.  Commercial orchards and private properties with fruit trees are located in Belen and Bosque Farms, Peña Blanca, Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Chimayo, Alcalde, Velarde, Embudo, Dixon, Rinconada, Pilar, Llano Quemado, Taos, El Prado, Valdez and Taos Canyon.   Elevations are about 5000 ft in the bosque area south of Albuquerque, 6000 - 6700 ft from Pena Blanca to Rinconada, including Las Vegas at 6700 ft, to ~7,000+ ft around Pilar, Chimayo and Taos, and over 8000 ft in Valdez and Taos Canyon.   Many thanks to those growers and property owners who granted me permission to visit their orchards.  Special thanks to Julie Anna Lopez, Curator of Agriculture, for permission to place trap nests at El Rancho de las Golondrinas.  Visitors to the museum can see them in the small old orchard near Molina Barela de Truchas.

Top of Page

What did I do there?

In April and early May, 2001, trap nests for twig-nesting solitary bees and wasps were placed in participating orchards.  Most orchards were visited again after the start of apple bloom to collect foraging bees, wasps and flies .   A number of wild and ornamental plums were also sampled for bee visitors.  One was just across from the entrance to the Capulin campground along US65, in Kit Carson National Forest at ~8000 ft..  Another bloomed outside of Doc's Automotive on Paseo del Pueblo Sur in Taos. 

Top of Page

Bee Release Experiments

Special thanks to Mr. Griego of Velarde. we released close to 500 straws with Blue Orchard Bees and some Hornfaced Bees from two commercial suppliers in his 6 acre orchard .  Blue Orchard Bees were also released into the Alcalde research orchard.  The bees emerged well, and appeared to forage actively.  Pollination and fruit yield were excellent in both orchards.  Bee reproduction also appeared to be very good.  Number of female offspring will be assessed in March before releasing the bees into these orchards for a second year.

boxofbees.jpg (107029 bytes)   Bee box from Greg Dickman in Mr. Griego's orchard, April 2001.  
Photo by Karen Strickler.  Click to see larger image.

Top of Page

Orchards for 2002 and 2003

 I hope to have time to visit additional orchards during bloom, 2002.  In addition to visiting the Upper Rio Grande watershed, I hope to visit orchards in the Mora area east of the Sangre de Cristo and Santa Fe Mts., in the fruit - growing region of the Sacramento Mts. of southern New Mexico, and possibly in the Farmington area.  If you live in New Mexico and are interested in participating, if you have a few fruit trees up to several acres, fill out the participation form below.  Spread the word to other growers as well.

2007 Update

Pollinator Paradise visits New Mexico once or twice a year to work with blue orchard bees in the Dixon / Velarde area.  If you have an orchard and would like to learn more about blue orchard bees, please e-mail us with information about your orchard (acreage, fruit crops, where you are located, etc.)

Top of page

Copyright © 2001, Karen Strickler. All rights reserved.
Revised June 28,  2001.
Revised Sept. 3, 2007