Our goal as a team of professional farmers and researchers is to examine and promote Monarda spp. as a new crop or accessory planting to affect bee health in situ and also produce a hive product and field crop that can be processed in a number of ways either as honey; a dried herb (flowers and leaves), or as an extracted product containing the volatile compounds.
To analyze oregano de la sierra and its effects on bee health and potential human health benefits through value-added products we will be coordinating with several additional institutions and laboratories both in state and through USDA-ARS.
- Establish three test plot sites in northern Rio Grande valley and high mountain Sangre de Cristo range
- Attend North American Beekeeping Conference to connect with consulting researchers and promote the study for additional laboratory and field support.
- Place nucleus honeybee colonies at three test sites
- Collect nectar directly from flowers and bee gathered nectar, as well as honey infused with dry oregano flowers
- Analyze nectar and honey samples using gas chromatography to determine volatile compounds (with Dr. Don Hyder, San Juan College)
- Use nectar/honey in small scale controlled feeding to determine effects on bee health (with Dr. Jay Evans-USDA-ARS)
- Disseminate results through regional field day event and through International Pollinator Health Conference (University of Pennsylvania, 2017)