by Ardeana Hamlin

of The Weekly Staff

Although there is still plenty of snow on the ground, Nick Robertson, 28, of Holden has his sights set on spring.

Robertson was 18 and still a student at Brewer High School when he started Twin City Lawn Care. “I did it to make extra money,” he said. “Then it grew and grew and it took me through college.” He started out with 15 to 20 lawns to take care of, now he has 100. “When I got out of class, I went to work,” he said of his college years.

Robertson said his mother, Stacey Robertson, who owns a cleaning business, and his father Ron Robertson, who owns a moving company, were very supportive when he started out in the lawn care business. They advised him to follow his dreams.

When he graduated from Eastern Maine Community College with a degree in business management  in 2008, he decided to stick with what he already was doing. “I liked the idea of having my own business,” he said.

Now 10 years later, his business name has changed to Bee Green Lawn Service and his focus has changed to lawn care that is based on using organic compounds to feed turf and control pests. He officially filed for the new name in February.

His customers, Robertson said, had begun to ask about lawn care products that are organically based. “They want environmentally friendly lawn care,” he said. “I started to do research on what organic products are out there. That’s how I found Bee Safe.”

Bee Safe is a trademark of Natural Technologies Inc., owned by Tom Kelly and based in Auburn, New Hampshire, which Kelly started in 2011.

“Bee Safe is a type of lawn care system that uses products that improve the soil by using biology. We use products that introduce soil improving micro-organisms and natural fertilizers such as fish or composted material. It is odor-free,” Kelly said. “There is a growing demand for organic and environmentally appropriate [lawn care]. We are a lawn service that specializes in organics. Maine is kind of in the forefront of lawn care that is organically focused.” Kelly said his clients in Maine include Hadlock Field in Portland, the town of Scarborough, Bowdoin College and Portland Head Light.

“Bee Safe is a six-step process that builds up soil biology with beneficial microbes,” Robertson said. “It feeds the lawn naturally and builds food webs. It’s a self-sustaining system. With the organic method, the turf is healthier and more disease resistant. It’s reasonably priced and it works.”

Robertson is the only Bee Safe dealership in Penobscot and Hancock counties. He also is certified in Maine as a master pesticide applicator, limited to turf, biting flies and insects, and ornamentals — trees, shrubs and flowers. He has received training from Natural Technologies Inc. in the use of its  lawn care organic products.

The lawn care business, Robertson said, allows him to be independent, to work outside and to help people. “I like that I’m not in the same spot all the time,” he said. “I like the freedom of being able to try something new.”

Bee Green Lawn Service is available April through November. For information, call Robertson at 735-3006, email beegreenmaine@gmail.com or go to beegreenmaine.com.