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

How do I Keep Bears Away from My Beehives?
September 20, 2019 · · Ask The Expert,Health & Pests

Once a bear learns the location of a beehive, it will keep coming back for more. So the best defense against bear predation is avoiding them in the first place.

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Why Are There Bald-Faced Hornets in my Top Feeder?
September 17, 2019 · · Ask The Expert,Health & Pests

I found a ton of dead, large black and white, what I think might be bald-faced hornets dead inside of a feeder. I killed a bunch outside my hives too. Entrance reducer was on also. Should I worry? I’m thrilled The Hive was strong enough to kill all the intruders at least.

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Which Bees Make Honey?
August 15, 2019 · · Beekeeping 101

While not all bees make honey, there are many species that do—perhaps hundreds.

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The Secret of Winter Bees vs Summer Bees
July 31, 2019 · · Beekeeping 101

We all know that female honey bees are divided into two castes: workers and queens. Although they both arise from normal fertilized eggs, the larvae that hatch from those eggs …

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Chalkbrood Disease in Honey Bees
July 25, 2019 · · Health & Pests

Of all the disease names, chalkbrood paints the most vivid picture. Even if you’ve never seen chalkbrood symptoms, white chunks of mummified brood are hard to mistake for anything else. …

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Nosema Disease in Honey Bees
July 22, 2019 · · Health & Pests

Nosema is a serious disease of honey bees caused by a microsporidian. A microsporidian is a type of single-celled fungus that reproduces by spores. The nosema organisms live and reproduce …

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A Slatted Rack and Robbing Screen Can Improve Your Hive Entrance
July 20, 2019 · · 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 …

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What do Mason Bees Pollinate?

Most Osmia mason bees are generalist pollinators, foraging on a wide variety of plants. As a rule of thumb, Osmia prefer tube-shaped blossoms or flowers with irregular shapes. Some of their favorites are various mints, penstemon, scorpionweed, and willows. They also like legume family plants such as indigo bush, clover, and vetch along with composites such as thistles.

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Exploring the Mason Bee Life Cycle

Often mistaken for flies, mason bees are some of the earliest spring fliers. But the timing of the mason bee life cycle varies with each individual species — and we in North America have an enormous variety.

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Raising Mason Bees: Do’s and Don’ts

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 …

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