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

How do I Keep Bears Away from My Beehives?
September 20, 2019 · · Ask The Expert, Health & Pests

Once a bear learns the location of a beehive, it will keep coming back for more. So the best defense against bear predation is avoiding them in the first place.

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Why Are There Bald-Faced Hornets in my Top Feeder?
September 17, 2019 · · Ask The Expert, Health & Pests

I found a ton of dead, large black and white, what I think might be bald-faced hornets dead inside of a feeder. I killed a bunch outside my hives too. Entrance reducer was on also. Should I worry? I’m thrilled The Hive was strong enough to kill all the intruders at least.

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The Secret of Winter Bees vs Summer Bees
July 31, 2019 · · Beekeeping 101

Add to Favorites 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 …

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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 beehive to suit local conditions.

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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

Add to Favorites 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 …

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

Add to Favorites 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 …

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What is Honey Bee Dysentery?
February 1, 2019 · · Health & Pests

Add to Favorites Beekeeping is rife with confusing terminology that can baffle even experienced beekeepers. Honey bee dysentery is a perfect example. In humans, dysentery is a contagious illness caused …

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

Add to Favorites 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 …

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