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.
Read More

Articles by Rusty Burlew

Can I Save My Plastic Frames with Wax Moth Damage?

Freezing is the very best way to kill wax moths on frames, whether it’s made of wood or plastic. Freezing is effective because it kills all life stages of the moth: eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults.

Read More
Were My Bees Poisoned?

I believe one of my hives was poisoned. There is a pile in front of the hive. This colony was a combination of two weak splits waiting for a queen. (I used the newspaper method to combine them. ) My first impression was that my combination of the two hives had caused the dissonance and the death of the bees in front of the hive. After further investigation, I found that most of the dead bees had tongues hanging out. I realized it might be a pesticide. Now my question is how can I protect the other five hives? None of them had the pile of bees in front.

Read More
Why Did My Bees Die?

Dead bees head-down in cells is a common occurrence, but beekeepers seldom agree about the cause. The most commonly heard theory is that the bees could not find food and died licking the remaining molecules off the bottom of the comb.

Read More
Keeping Both Mason Bees and Honey Bees
October 31, 2021 · · 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 or compete for resources? How close is too close?

Read More
How Long Will a Colony Survive Without a Queen?
September 29, 2021 · · Ask the Expert

Even without a queen, a honey bee can complete her normal adult lifespan of about four-to-six weeks.

Read More
Can I Feed Frames of Honey Back to My Colony?
September 23, 2021 · · Ask the Expert

I live in the NC Piedmont. I prepared my hives for winter last Sunday by removing the top supers and adding a quilt frame and a candy board. These are two first-year hives. The honey was not capped last month. This month it’s all capped including eight full frames in the supers and four that are about half full.

Read More
How Do I Combine Two Double-Deep Hives?
September 18, 2021 · · Ask the Expert, Beekeeping 101

Before you begin to combine the two double-deep hives, try to consolidate the brood nests in each hive. For example, If one hive has five frames of brood in one box, and two in the other box, try to put all seven of them in one box. Repeat this process in the other hive.

Read More
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.

Read More
What Are Those White Worms in My Honey?

The little white “worms” we sometimes see in honey are not actually worms at all. Instead, they are the larval stage of the wax moth. Just like honey bees, wax moths go through four stages of metamorphosis: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

Read More
How Do I Save a Late-Season Swarm?

Deciding how to handle a late swarm can be difficult, even for an experienced beekeeper. Although late swarms have a very low survival rate, they can be helped along with additional resources.

Read More
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]