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
February 2, 2022 · · 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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What are Ankle-Biter Bees?
January 12, 2022 · · Ask the Expert

Purdue ankle-biters are a type of honey bee developed at Purdue University after beekeepers noticed that some honey bees bit the legs off dislodged varroa mites. Individual bees with this hygienic trait were inbred in order to increase the incidence of the genetic alleles that produced the behavior. The result of this breeding program yielded the so-called ankle-biters.

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What Bugs Your Bees in Winter? Know the Lineup of Beekeeping Pests.
January 12, 2022 · · Health & Pests

Even before we open our first beehive, we are warned about pests that may live within. Small hive beetles, wax moths, and varroa mites are things we dread, so early in our training we learn how to deal with them.

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15 Easy Beekeeping Projects for Quiet Days
December 14, 2021 · · 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 you haven’t seen since fall are circling overhead, stretching their wings and looking for nectar.

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What is Honey Bee Dysentery?
December 10, 2021 · · Health & Pests

Beekeeping is rife with confusing terminology that can baffle even experienced beekeepers. Honey bee dysentery is a perfect example.

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Raising Mason Bees: Do’s and Don’ts
December 8, 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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Which Bees Make Honey?
November 19, 2021 · · Beekeeping 101

While not all bees make honey, there are many species that do—perhaps hundreds.

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Is Fondant Actually Detrimental to Bees?

When you cook sugar or add an acid such as vinegar or cream of tartar, you break the molecular bonds that hold sucrose together and end up with the two simple sugars. It’s the fructose portion that causes the problem. When fructose is heated it produces hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), which is toxic to bees.

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I Found a Dead Queen on My Landing Board. Now What?

I live just outside of Seattle. Yesterday I found a queen dead on the landing board of my top bar hive. She was with two worker bees that were alive. I am not sure what they were doing. Pushing her off of the ledge?

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