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 Long Should I Feed Bees in Spring?

When a hive is starting out in the spring, do the forager bees consume and share some of the nectar they gather with the “house” bees and store the rest that they don’t need for their survival? And is that the reason that

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Dead Bees in a Package — How Many is Too Many?
April 24, 2021 · · Beekeeping 101

I received my package, and 80 to 90% of the bees were dead. I could not tell if the queen bee was there. We tried to remove most of the dead bees. We just put the queen part at the bottom of the brood box.

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Will Spraying Dandelions Harm Bees?

My son is thinking of spraying 2,4-D for the dandelions — how safe is it for the bees? All the bees died this winter.

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A Slatted Rack and Robbing Screen Can Improve Your Hive Entrance
April 15, 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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How to Customize Your Hive With a Screened Inner Cover and Imirie Shim
April 15, 2021 · · Hives & Equipment

Add to Favorites Just as you can alter the entrance to your Langstroth beehive, you can also alter the top. Two pieces of optional equipment to consider are a screened …

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Will Wax Moths Come up Into the Hive From the Screened Bottom Board?

Will wax moths come up into the hive from the screened bottom board? I’ve cleaned up some deadouts and would like to leave them set up, the freezing during the winter should have killed eggs or larvae in the comb. I’ve closed off the entrances with window screen.

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Raising Mason Bees: Do’s and Don’ts
March 24, 2021 · · 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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Is Moisture Killing My Bees?

As long as they are dry, honey bees are wizards at staying warm. But a moist hive can be a death sentence because evaporation is a cooling process that steals the heat from a bee’s body. Living in a damp hive is like standing in a cold room while dripping wet from a shower.

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Can I Make Mason Bee Homes out of Bamboo?

I want to make mason bee homes. I plan to try drilling a wood block, but also try bamboo. Since moisture is an issue with bamboo, has anyone tried drying the bamboo out in a low temp oven? Do they have suggestions about how long and at what temperature to dry the bamboo?

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Creating the Best Water Sources for Bees
March 14, 2021 · · Health & Pests

Like all animals, honey bees need a dependable source of water year round. The best water sources for bees are ones that won’t go dry in the summer, won’t drown the bees, and won’t be shared with livestock or pets. Although honey bees adore a nice salt water pool, it’s a good idea to establish your water source before your bees begin chasing away the sunbathers.

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