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

A Slatted Rack and Robbing Screen Can Improve Your Hive Entrance
July 20, 2019 · · 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 …

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What do Mason Bees Pollinate?

Most Osmia mason bees are generalist pollinators, foraging on a wide variety of plants. As a rule of thumb, Osmia prefer tube-shaped blossoms or flowers with irregular shapes. Some of their favorites are various mints, penstemon, scorpionweed, and willows. They also like legume family plants such as indigo bush, clover, and vetch along with composites such as thistles.

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Exploring the Mason Bee Life Cycle

Often mistaken for flies, mason bees are some of the earliest spring fliers. But the timing of the mason bee life cycle varies with each individual species — and we in North America have an enormous variety.

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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 …

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Creating the Best Water Sources for Bees
June 6, 2019 · · 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 …

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What Bugs Your Bees in Summer? Know the Lineup of Beekeeping Pests.
May 13, 2019 · · 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 …

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Keeping Both Mason Bees and Honey Bees
February 5, 2019 · · Plants & Pollination

Many people, especially those with fruit trees to pollinate, want to keep both mason bees and honey bees in the same yard. But is that good for the bees? Will they harm each other …

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15 Easy Beekeeping Projects for Winter
February 1, 2019 · · Hives & Equipment

Just when you think winter will never end, you suddenly awaken to an azure sky. You hear sounds you haven’t heard in months: frogs, birds, kids. Without warning, honey bees …

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Movements of the Winter Bee Cluster
February 1, 2019 · · Health & Pests

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 or a building. …

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How Do Honey Bees Survive the Winter Without Fresh Pollen?
February 1, 2019 · · 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 …

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