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

Brood in Honey; No Queen Excluder — What Now?

Many people don’t like the idea of queen excluders until they get to this point. Brood in the honey supers is a difficult problem to solve, and the solutions are not ideal.

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How Long Can I Keep a Caged Queen Bee Alive?
July 27, 2021 · · Ask The Expert

Caged queens can be kept a week to 10 days, and perhaps a day or two longer. But queens lose quality when they are kept from laying for long periods, and the quality of their pheromones decreases, so always keep the storage time as short as possible.

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Why Did My Bees Remove the Frame Foundation?

The bees simply bite off a chunk of wax, mix it with their own saliva, chew it into the right consistency, and then build new comb with it somewhere else in the hive. If later in the season they want to use the frames they borrowed from, they will repair the entire thing such that you can barely see what they did.

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Can I Put Out Extracted Supers Without Encouraging Robbing?

Finding a source of ready-made honey excites the bees, almost to the point of frenzy. So providing wet supers gets the bees agitated and more willing, it seems, to attempt robbing.

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A Slatted Rack and Robbing Screen Can Improve Your Hive Entrance
July 7, 2021 · · 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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On a Frame of Emerged and Capped Queen Cells, Will the Workers Destroy the Capped Cells?

On a frame that has emerged queen cells and capped queen cells, is it most likely that the capped cell contents have been killed and of no use in trying to raise a queen in a nuc? Are these cells eventually torn down by the workers?

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Should I Split if I See Queen Cells on Three Frames?

If I have queen cells on three different frames, and I know they are going to swarm. This is a new colony from a nuc. Could I make a split from this situation?

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My Swarm Returned to Where I Found it. Now What?

If I have queen cells on three different frames, and I know they are going to swarm. This is a new colony from a nuc. Could I make a split from this situation?

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Which Bees are Attracted to Douglas Fir Sap?

On a frame that has emerged queen cells and capped queen cells, is it most likely that the capped cell contents have been killed and of no use in trying to raise a queen in a nuc? Are these cells eventually torn down by the workers?

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Which is Better for a Layens Hive: Fumigation or Vaporization of Oxalic Acid?

I am a new beekeeper and want to know what your thoughts are on using the fumigation method vs the vapor method? I am using Layens Horizontal Hives configuration and really don’t see a good way to use vapor equipment and see the fumigation method (fogging) as a better method for my application.

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