Mike Palmer bought his first two packages of bees from FW Jones Company of Quebec in 1974. They cost $10.50 delivered. Neither colony made it through the first winter, but he kept trying and built up to 200 hives by 1981.
In 1982, Mike got a job managing the bees owned by Chazy Orchards in Chazy, New York and did so until 1986. Then he convinced Chazy to sell their bees to him, so at that time, he had more than 600 colonies.
Mike began raising his own queens in 1998 and has been doing so ever since. Today, Mike raises about 1200 queens and manages over 1000 colonies, with some 600-700 production colonies, and hundreds of nucleus colonies.
He has lectured on his methods of beekeeping all over the world.
Photo: Adam Foster Collins