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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When Can I Safely Clean Out my Mason Bee Tubes?
July 6, 2020 · · Ask The Expert

In order to care for your mason bees, you need to have some idea when the tubes were filled and capped. If it was in a prior year, the bees inside are most likely dead, so you can discard the tubes and start with a fresh set next year.

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My Bees Built Comb in the Swarm Trap, Now What?
June 30, 2020 · · Ask The Expert

By the time I got to the swarm trap, the bees had built comb from the bottom of the frames almost to the floor of the trap — about 5 inches of comb coming off each of the frames. How do I handle this extra comb when placing the swarm in the new brood boxes? Thanks.

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How Long After a Swarm Should I See Signs of a Queen?
June 26, 2020 · · Ask The Expert

On average, a newly emerged queen takes about two weeks, give or take, before she begins to lay eggs.

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What Bugs Your Bees in Summer? Know the Lineup of Beekeeping Pests.
June 20, 2020 · · Health & Pests

While many creatures may choose a honey bee hive for its warmth and protection in winter, other animals are attracted to bee hives in summer. Most of these animals do not attempt to enter the hive — after all, that’s an intimidating proposition.

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How Many Days After Requeening Should I See Eggs?
June 12, 2020 · · 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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Why Do I Have Dead Drones in My Beehive Entrance?
June 12, 2020 · · Ask The Expert

Every now and then someone reports massive numbers of dead drones in spring and early summer. It doesn’t seem right but it happens. One common thread that runs through these reports is several days of rainy or cold weather just prior to finding the dead drones.

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How Long Will a Colony Survive Without a Queen?
June 9, 2020 · · Ask The Expert

Even without a queen, a honey bee can complete her normal adult lifespan of about four-to-six weeks.

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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 you don’t buy mason bees, starting is a bit slower, but the results are worth the wait.

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How Do I Keep Bees Away from My Pool?

It is well-known that honey bees are attracted to chlorine in pools. Although bees have eyesight that is perfect for finding flowers and evading enemies, it’s not so good for finding water.

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