About the Author

Rusty Burlew

Rusty is a master beekeeper in Washington State. She has been fascinated by honey bees since childhood and, in recent years, has become enthralled with the native bees that share pollination duty with honey bees. She has an undergraduate degree in agronomic crops and a master’s degree in environmental studies with an emphasis on pollination ecology. Rusty owns a website, HoneyBeeSuite.com, and is the director of a small non-profit, the Native Bee Conservancy of Washington State. Through the non-profit, she helps organizations with conservation projects by taking species inventories and planning pollinator habitat. Besides writing for the website, Rusty has published in Bee Culture and Bee World magazines, and has regular columns in Bee Craft (UK) and the American Bee Journal. She frequently speaks to groups about bee conservation, and has worked as an expert witness in bee sting litigation. In her spare time, Rusty enjoys macro photography, gardening, canning, baking, and quilting.
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Articles by Rusty Burlew

Raising Mason Bees: Do’s and Don’ts
September 26, 2022 · · Plants & Pollination

Raising mason bees is as simple as buying or making suitable housing and placing it where it will be discovered by the bees that already live in your area. If you don’t buy mason bees, starting is a bit slower, but the results are worth the wait.

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How Do Bees Survive Winter Without Pollen?
September 9, 2022 · · Health & Pests

All during the foraging season, honey bees collect pollen and nectar. How do bees survive the winter without fresh pollen?

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What Makes My Colony a Superorganism?
August 6, 2022 · · Beekeeping 101

The suppression of individual needs is the trait that best defines a superorganism. Even though each bee is a separate entity, the colony behaves as if it were one large, multicellular organism where each bee is like a single cell.

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A Slatted Rack and Robbing Screen Can Improve Your Hive Entrance
July 13, 2022 · · Hives & Equipment

One of the best things about a Langstroth beehive is its adaptability. By using optional pieces of beehive equipment like a slatted rack and robbing screen, you can adapt your beehive to suit local conditions.

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Can I Make Mason Bee Homes out of Bamboo?

I want to make mason bee homes. I plan to try drilling a wood block, but also try bamboo. Since moisture is an issue with bamboo, has anyone tried drying the bamboo out in a low temp oven? Do they have suggestions about how long and at what temperature to dry the bamboo?

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How to Customize Your Hive With a Screened Inner Cover and Imirie Shim
July 13, 2022 · · Hives & Equipment

Add to Favorites Just as you can alter the entrance to your Langstroth beehive, you can also alter the top. Two pieces of optional equipment to consider are a screened …

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The Invasive Spotted Lanternfly: A New Honey Bee Pest
June 17, 2022 · · Health & Pests

Global trade has landed a wide selection of goods on our doorsteps, and people throughout the world have benefitted in ways unimaginable in decades past. But one detriment of increased trade is the movement of organisms into new environments.

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How Many Days After Requeening Should I See Eggs?
June 14, 2022 · · Ask the Expert

After eight days, you should see eggs by now, even if it took the workers two or three days to release her. A queenless colony can go about 21 days before the workers’ ovaries begin to develop.

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What Pollinator Would Be Good for a Botanical Garden?
June 13, 2022 · · Ask the Expert

We are looking for a pollinator for a huge indoor botanical garden. We will need to find a pollinator that will be able to pollinate plants 365 days per year and will not be dangerous for the tourists.

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Creating the Best Water Sources for Bees
June 8, 2022 · · Health & Pests

Like all animals, honey bees need a dependable source of water year round. The best water sources for bees are ones that won’t go dry in the summer, won’t drown the bees, and won’t be shared with livestock or pets. Although honey bees adore a nice salt water pool, it’s a good idea to establish your water source before your bees begin chasing away the sunbathers.

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