August Edition

From the TOBA Hive

September Meeting

Unfortunately last months speaker had to cancel last minute, so we rescheduled her presentation for Octobers meeting. We don’t have a speaker planned for September, but have a lot of interesting opportunities on the horizon we’d like to discuss with the club. We look forward to seeing you Saturday, September 10 at 2pm.

OSU Extension Service Building 11545 HWY 70 Madill 73446

End of the Season Honey Show!

While we’re still in the thick of the beekeeping season, the end of the year will sneak up on us in a blink of an eye. To celebrate and close out this years beekeeping season, we'd like to host a honey show at our last meeting in November. Please bring honey from your hive in your favorite form, whether it is extracted, cut comb, creamed honey, chunk honey, or round. Bring your wax too! We’d love to see blocks and tapered or artistic candles.

Proposed Host for OSBA Spring 2023 Meeting

TOBA has the opportunity to host the Spring 2023 meeting for the Oklahoma State Beekeepers Association. For those of you who’ve not had the opportunity to attend a previous state meeting, it’s a one day event usually from 9am - 4pm and is open to all affiliated beekeeping club members across Oklahoma. There’s no cost to the club to host, just a little preparation (and possible sweat equity) on behalf of TOBA members.

A little bit about OSBA and the history of their spring meetings: Although the origin of the association has become a mystery of sorts, it was formed roughly around 1940. In 1969 OSBA voted to have their spring meeting be educational in nature and be hosted by an affiliated member. Each spring, speakers are brought in who are in alignment with their educational goals. As of 2022, OSBA has grown to eleven chapters across Oklahoma and we are honored to be chosen as prospective hosts for the 2023 meeting.

The meeting would be hosted at our usual meeting location at the OSU Extension Service Building. If this is something you’d like our club to participate in, please respond to our survey here with a quick yes or no.

Congratulations Donna Cox for not only a first place finish, but Grand Champion ribbon at the Love County Fair! We hope the State fair is just as favorable!

Happenings in the TOBA Apiary

Sunflowers for Pollinators

While the weather may have *slightly* cooled, some of us are still taking refuge indoors with the beloved air conditioner, and what better time to plan your garden than while you’re dreaming of cooler days! A speaker from a local bee club shared a few varieties of sunflowers the pollinators have been loving. Keep in mind for USDA zone 7B, it is best to sow the seeds in April and May.

ABJ Q&A about Culling Frames

We often talk about rotating old comb out, as it helps to lower the risk of pathogens and disease that can be held within the old comb, but we usually skim over the logistics of the best practices of doing so. In the July 2022 issue of American Bee Journal, Jamie Ellis addresses the how in culling comb and more importantly, how to do so over a short period of time.

Question: I was donated a swarm from last year that, when given to me, the donor said the five frames accompanying the swarm were very old. The colony overwintered and is currently housed in a single deep. The original five frames from the nuc housing the swarm are in the center of the hive and being used by the bees. I would like to cull them when the weather warms here in Michigan. I would obviously like to have them empty or near empty when I do this. How do you go about this?

Answer: Essentially, you have bees using combs in the brood nest, combs that you want to cull from the nest due to their age. There is an easy way to do this.

First, allow the colony to grow to the point that it fills/uses all ten frames in the brood nest. You may have to feed the bees to do this if they are outside of the nectar flow. Once the colony fully occupies the brood nest, add a queen excluder and an empty deep box above it. Move the five old frames from the lowermost brood box, bees and all, above the excluder into the upper brood box. Make sure that the queen remains in the box below the excluder.

At this point, you will have five newer frames with bees/brood/queen in the lower box, an excluder, and then the five older frames with bees/brood in the upper box. Add five frames of foundation or pulled comb to the lower box and five frames in the upper box. (You can also add five pulled combs or five frames of foundation to complete the uppermost box, especially if you are in a honey flow. That way, the bees do not build burr comb in the empty space.)

Allow all the brood to emerge from the frames in the upper box. It may take three weeks, or slightly longer, for this to happen. Once done, remove the frames from the upper box, shake the bees from the frames into the lower box, and sit the frames outside of the hive to be robbed. You have to do the latter because the bees likely will have stored honey in the frames while they were in the upper box. At this point, you can discard the frames, or melt the wax for rendering purposes.

All About Bees Crossword Solution

We hope you enjoyed last months crossword!

OSBA Apiary

Oklahoma State Fair

Hooray! The most wonderful event of the year is back. The Oklahoma State Fair is taking place September 15 - 25 from 9am - 10pm and we need your help. We are looking for volunteers to help man our booth for 4 hour intervals. Volunteers will receive complimentary (and very sought after) parking within 100 yards of the entrance (!!) and free admission.

We want to stress that you don’t need to have years of beekeeping experience under your belt. Just having a hive gives you that much more knowledge than most people. It’s also a great opportunity to meet fellow beekeepers and members of our community. Email us at if you’d like to participate or know more information.

OSBA Fall Meeting

A date has been set for the Fall Conference! Mark you calendars for Saturday, October 29 at Will Rogers Garden. More information to follow and as always, check the OSBA website for updates.

Will Rogers Garden 3400 NW 36th Street, OKC 73112

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