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 Wide Should an Entrance Tube of an Observation Hive Be?

In the past few years, the number of electronic devices for beekeepers has mushroomed. I’ve frequently been asked to test these new devices, so I have quite a bit of experience with them.

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Can You Keep a Queen from Leaving with a Swarm?

In the past few years, the number of electronic devices for beekeepers has mushroomed. I’ve frequently been asked to test these new devices, so I have quite a bit of experience with them.

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Chalkbrood Disease in Honey Bees
February 22, 2021 · · 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
February 21, 2021 · · 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 in the honey bee midgut where they steal nutrients and prevent digestion.

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How do I Keep Bears Away from My Beehives?
February 12, 2021 · · 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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How Do Honey Bees Survive the Winter Without Fresh Pollen?
February 5, 2021 · · Health & Pests

All during the foraging season, honey bees collect pollen and nectar. They use nectar for energy to keep going from day to day. Any extra nectar is turned into honey and stored in combs.

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Movements of the Winter Bee Cluster
February 4, 2021 · · Health & Pests

Add to Favorites The honey bee cluster moves up in winter and down in summer. The downward movement is easiest to see in a feral colony built into a tree …

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Are Infrared Cameras in the Winter Necessary?

In the past few years, the number of electronic devices for beekeepers has mushroomed. I’ve frequently been asked to test these new devices, so I have quite a bit of experience with them.

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What are Ankle-Biter Bees?
January 17, 2021 · · Ask The Expert

Purdue ankle-biters are a type of honey bee developed at Purdue University after beekeepers noticed that some honey bees bit the legs off dislodged varroa mites. Individual bees with this hygienic trait were inbred in order to increase the incidence of the genetic alleles that produced the behavior. The result of this breeding program yielded the so-called ankle-biters.

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What Bugs Your Bees in Winter? Know the Lineup of Beekeeping Pests.
January 12, 2021 · · Health & Pests

Even before we open our first beehive, we are warned about pests that may live within. Small hive beetles, wax moths, and varroa mites are things we dread, so early in our training we learn how to deal with them.

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