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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was blessed with transition leave, upon retiring from the USAF, and found myself with lots of free time on my hands. So, I decided to intern with Mike Palmer in Vermont for 2 weeks. I arrived April 25th in St Albans Vermont. April 26th, began pulling frames for nucs Mike was selling to about 200 customers. April 27th--it began to snow & French Hill got one foot of the white stuff. April 28th--power went out for 36 hours--welcome to spring in Vermont. April 29th until May 6th, we worked our :s off reversing and supering. I have a newfound appreciation of what commercial beekeeping is all about.

Than ks Mike for the good times, the education and the memories!

Photos are attached.

http://s97.photobucket.com/albums/l224/winevines/Keith%20Vermont%20Beekeeping%20Photos/
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Adrian,

Those half sized frames are for Mike's mating nucs which are a 10 frame deep body split into four sections. The bar "blocks" allows for versatility/flexibility so that Mike can use his mating nuc frames in his Langstroth length nucs.

How he gets them drawn out specifically are unknown to me, I'd have to defer to him for the answer, but I'd think that it would not be any harder than getting a normal deep frame drawn out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sounds like fun, can I sign up for 2 weeks next year?
Talk with him, and ask. Mike has a quote that I like: "Good help doesn't cost, it pays." Which means he's grateful for any and all support and help he could get. I think every commercial beekeeper enjoys help, and if you don't get in the way, and actually lighten his load and stress, then that's a good thing.

As for me, the knowledge and learning was tremendous. It was like being a priest in training and getting to spend time studying at the Vatican. I'm a Mike Palmer fan, and it shows, but you get the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How picky is he in who he allows to visit? :D
Barry, I've been keeping bees for only 3 years. While I think I know what I'm doing, I found it very helpful to erase my own predjudices and simply listen to what Mike wanted me to do in his yards. I tried to do exactly what he asked. If someone were working my bees, I'd want them to do the same thing. Mike told me later, that he really enjoyed my company and said I anticipated his moves to be there to help him when he needed it. It was like I could read his mind and know what he needed and when. I know you've been keeping bees longer than I, so your intuition is better too. Translation: Mike said to me, "Good help never costs, it pays." He likes help, but I'd figure he's as picky as you might be in your own yard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What does he do for queens for those nuc's??
Not sure I totally understand your question. What does he do with the queens he raises? He sells some and uses others to sustain his beekeeping operation. He is all sold out for 2010. I'm hoping to get some queens from him in 2011.
 

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That's awesome. Great pics and what a great guy to intern for. MP is a great man. Thank You for your service in USAF :thumbsup:
 

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"What does he do for queens for those nuc's??"

Just wondering what his source for queens in April is. I was curious if he uses his overwintered queens from last year for the nuc's? Is April nice enough to raise his own '10 queens for these nuc's? Or does he bring in outside genetics from other queen producers for these April - May nuc's? Or do the nuc's raise their own queens? Just wondering.
 

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"What does he do for queens for those nuc's??"

Just wondering what his source for queens in April is. I was curious if he uses his overwintered queens from last year for the nuc's? Is April nice enough to raise his own '10 queens for these nuc's?
As I understand it, the idea of a sustainable apiary is to make nucs to overwinter the previous summer using local queens, and those queens become your early Spring queens the next year. Not sure what the timing is in the Northern North East, but even way down here in Virginia, local queens are not available generally until mid May. This year Spring was a little early.
 

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I should jump in here, to answer a few questions. Thanks for the kind words.

Keith...thanks so much for the help. You were able to fit right into the crew and help us get a long job finished on time. All the nucs went out...well 5 more are going out this weekend. Not many 3 year beekeepers who could do that. How'd yer wife like the beard. He, Hee, Heee! :)
 
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