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

Movements of the Winter Bee Cluster
November 4, 2020 · · Health & Pests

Add to Favorites 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 …

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Are Infrared Cameras in the Winter Necessary?

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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How Do Honey Bees Survive the Winter Without Fresh Pollen?
October 18, 2020 · · 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 and stored in combs.

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The Secret of Winter Bees vs Summer Bees
October 14, 2020 · · 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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When is it Too Late to do an OAV Treatment?

When bees washboard, they space themselves on the surface of their hive then they plant their four rear legs in place and use their two front legs to step forward and back in a rocking motion while they lick the surface. Sometimes a colony will washboard for a day or two, but at other times it may continue for weeks.

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Why Do Bees Washboard?

When bees washboard, they space themselves on the surface of their hive then they plant their four rear legs in place and use their two front legs to step forward and back in a rocking motion while they lick the surface. Sometimes a colony will washboard for a day or two, but at other times it may continue for weeks.

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Raising Mason Bees: Do’s and Don’ts
September 26, 2020 · · 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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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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Can I Use Honey in a Pail Feeder?

You can try putting honey directly in a pail feeder, but I find it tends to crystallize in the holes after a few days.

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What’s Wrong with my Homemade Fondant?
September 15, 2020 · · Ask The Expert

Beekeepers add vinegar to fondant recipes under the mistaken idea that you need to invert the sucrose for the bees. This is not true. Most nectar is mainly sucrose, but the instant the bees ingest it, their saliva breaks it down into glucose and fructose.

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