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

Can I Raise Bees on Forest Land?
December 30, 2019 · · Ask The Expert

Honey bees are adept at finding seepages from hillsides, moist layers of moss, morning dew, and even traces of water in soil where another animal has been digging. Most of their water will come from nectar, and even in the driest areas, something is usually in bloom.

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Which Bees Make Honey?
December 28, 2019 · · Beekeeping 101

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

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Can I Feed Frames of Honey Back to My Colony?
December 5, 2019 · · 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.

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Sun and Shade for Bees: What is the Right Mix?
December 2, 2019 · · Hives & Equipment

Add to Favorites Many factors are important in determining a beehive location, including the relative amounts of sun and shade for bees. Many beekeepers insist that honey bee hives should …

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What Bugs Your Bees in Winter? Know the Lineup of Beekeeping Pests.
November 27, 2019 · · Health & Pests

Add to Favorites 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 …

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What’s Wrong with my Homemade Fondant?
November 14, 2019 · · 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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Movements of the Winter Bee Cluster
November 4, 2019 · · 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 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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