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

What’s Bothering My Mason Bees?

The parasitic wasp genus Monodontomerus shows up just as the mason bee season is coming to a close. The wasps are very tiny, perhaps fruit fly size, and fly with a nervous, side-to-side pattern that makes them look guilty.

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Will a Newly Installed Nuc Swarm?

The appearance of a single swarm cell doesn’t mean much. Some colonies repeatedly build queen cups and swarm cells only to tear them down later. We don’t know why they do it, but it may just be a case of being prepared.

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How to Customize Your Hive With a Screened Inner Cover and Imirie Shim
May 31, 2020 · · 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 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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What Does a Caught Swarm Need to Thrive?

I just caught my first swarm by placing a deep hive body on top of a very active swarm on a low brush pile. When I got the deep back to the yard, I installed a frame feeder and a top feeder as well as a pollen patty. I inspected the hive yesterday afternoon, and it is packed out with bees (maybe 5-6 lbs ).

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Creating the Best Water Sources for Bees
May 17, 2020 · · 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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Reversing Brood Boxes in the Spring — Is it Necessary?

Many beekeepers begin spring by “reversing brood boxes,” which just means switching the two so that the cluster is on the bottom. Some beekeepers do this routinely, while some never do it. It’s not necessary because, as the brood nest expands, the queen will eventually begin laying in the bottom box, especially if you use a queen excluder to keep the queen out of the honey supers. Whether you reverse the boxes is just a matter of beekeeper preference.

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What are the Pros and Cons of Using Nine Frames vs 10 Frames?

What are the pros and cons of using nine frames in the brood boxes? If one wished go from nine frames to 10 frames, how should it be done?

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Keeping Both Mason Bees and Honey Bees

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 or compete for resources? How close is too close?

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Why Do My Colonies Keep Swarming?

I have three hives started last year and all three swarmed in the last week. Now, they are swarming again — the same colonies. Why do the same colonies keep swarming every few days?

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