Q. Do you have any suggestions on fruit trees for the Amargosa Valley area? I have an apiary out there so I try to plant things that are good for the bees but that will survive the heat and cold out there.
|Amargosa vineyard in its first year in 2006|
A. Nearly all of the fruit trees that do well in the Las Vegas Valley will do well in Amargosa Valley. You have a commercial winery there that sells its grapes to Pahrump Winery and this same orchard began producing olive oil this past year.
The problem with fruit trees is that they have a narrow window for flowering and so the bees only get to work them for a short period. Fruit trees that have a longer flowering period would be pomegranate or spread your flowering time out with different types of fruit trees.
|Bee in a peach blossom at the UNCE Orchard|
Early bloomers are the stone fruit like peaches, apricots and plums and later the pome fruits like apples and pears begin flowering.
Vegetable crops and flowers would give your bees a lot to work for a longer period. You should have a lot of leafcutter bees out there from the alfalfa.
|Leafcutter bee damage to apricot leaf at the UNCE Orchard|
Make hauling water to their hives as easy for them as possible during the hot summer. Make sure the source of water available to them is clean and you should have no shortage of bees. This could be irrigated basins at the fruit trees that are operating when bees are flying.