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Joel Schaeffer, owner of Ona Mission Honey Farm | Jane Boursaw Photo
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There seems to be a lot of honey bees swarming on the Old Mission Peninsula this year. I don’t know if there’s a scientific basis for it or if I’m just noticing them and hearing about them more.

In addition to quite a few bee swarms this summer on Johnson Farms (my family’s farm), several people have emailed me asking if I know of anyone who can move bees that have swarmed on their property.

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The good news is there’s someone right here on the Peninsula who might be interested in moving your friendly neighborhood bees to another location. At the Farmer’s Market in downtown Traverse City recently, I met Joel Schaeffer, a beekeeper who lives near the end of the Peninsula and has a honey bee business called Ona Mission Honey Farm.

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Honey from Ona Mission Honey Farm | Jane Boursaw Photo

Throughout his life, Joel always had a passion for bees and had a few hives as a backyard beekeeper. When he retired from his career as a biologist in 2012, he and his wife Sue moved to their cottage on the Peninsula and he became a fulltime beekeeper, maintaining a number of hives and selling honey at the Traverse City Farm Market and Elk Rapids Farm Market.

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Bee Hives of Ona Mission Honey Farm | Jane Boursaw Photo

You can also find their honey at the Peninsula Market, Burritt’s, Bayside Market, and at Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor. Joel is also a member of the Michigan Beekeepers Association.

If you have honey bees swarming that need to be moved to a new location, or if you’d like more info about Ona Mission Honey Farm, email Joel at¬†ona_mission@aol.com or call him at (517) 256-1246. Visit the Ona Mission Honey Farm website¬†here.

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Bee Swarm on Johnson Farms | Jane Boursaw Photo

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