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

Do My Honey Bees Have Nosema?
December 21, 2022 · · Ask the Expert, Health & Pests

Honeybee dysentery is often confused with Nosema disease, so when beekeepers see feces on or near a hive, they automatically think the worst.

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The Secret of Winter Bees vs Summer Bees
November 27, 2022 · · 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 are nurtured differently.

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How Do I Keep the Hive Ventilated in Winter?

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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Should My Supers Be Below the Inner Cover for Winter?

Having the inner cover in the way can block the bees’ pathway and funnel the heat to a small area instead of generally throughout the super. In addition, the retriever bees may have to travel further—first to the opening, then away from it to the food, and then back to the hole, and then back to the cluster.

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Movements of the Winter Bee Cluster
October 25, 2022 · · Health & Pests

The honeybee cluster moves up in winter and down in summer. The combs start at the top and are added in layers, one beneath the other, as the colony expands.

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How Do Bees Survive Winter Without Pollen?
October 25, 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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Beekeeping Pests: What Bugs Your Bees in Winter?
October 25, 2022 · · Health & Pests

It’s important to be prepared for various beekeeping pests through winter. Check out this primer on some of the more common pests that can be found in your hives.

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Ask the Expert: Is it Possible to Get the Brown Wax Color to be a More Yellow Color?
October 3, 2022 · · Ask the Expert

Add to Favorites Gene J. Lindner asks: I heated some beeswax at more than 170 degrees Fahrenheit and it turned a brown color. Is it possible to get the brown …

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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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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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