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50 years with bees

May 21, 2014

Donald Steinke displays a jar of honey. Steinke has been keeping bees for 50 years. (Staff photo/Brittany Powell)

A local bee keeper, known to many as the “Master of the Wapakoneta Farmer’s Market,” is celebrating 50 years of keeping bees and harvesting honey this year.

Donald Steinke, 77, of Wapakoneta, started out as a small-hive bee keeper as a young adult. While not a tradition in his family, Steinke said he remembered his grandfather  harvesting honey when he was a child.

Steinke found his own opportunity to take up bee keeping in 1964 when a woman whose husband had died offered to sell him their hive.

“I got to thinking right there, ‘this is my chance,’” Steinke said. “One night, I loaded that hive of bees, I and my brother did back in the station wagon ... That night we brought the hive of bees in the station wagon there, left it sit outside, and the next morning I put it out in these woods. I’ve had bees in these woods 50 years. I love to do it.”

For the full story, see the Wednesday, May 21 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.

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