If you taste the honey from Mark and Melissa Van Holland’s bees, you’ll understand why they want to harvest as much as possible. “The healthier the hive, the larger it grows, and the more honey the bees produce,” Mark explains. “It’s important to have ample sources of pollen to feed the eggs and nectar to produce the honey.”
Mark and Melissa also wanted to take control of their backyard wetland and grow “show stopping beauty” along the fence line for their neighbors to enjoy, while also enhancing their own view from the patio.
Water flows through the wetland on back side of the yard in the spring, making it difficult to grow plants. The area is shaded and is overly weeded, making it hard to keep it in shape. Water tolerant plants that would survive in a wetland were needed.
Minnehaha Falls Landscaping placed shade and water seeking plants in the ground, the perfect tenants for the wetland area, along with native grasses. Compost, topsoil, and an overlay of biodegradable barrier were added to keep the weeds down, so the native grasses and plants will establish themselves and grow. Not to be outdone by the back of the property, a 200-feet of bee lawn was installed in the front to attract and feed as many bees as possible, while being low maintenance for Mark, the beekeeper. Later in the season, Mark added Joe Pye Weed, coneflowers, bee balm, cardinal lobelia, and Black-eyed Susan that look beautiful, and attract even more butterflies and hummingbirds.
The Van Holland’s now have a thriving wetland, and an all you can eat bee buffet in their backyard. Bees typically feed within two miles of the hive, so now they have the option to eat at home instead of going out to dinner. “We see many bees in the new area, and the hive is thriving,” Mark says. “Weeding has decreased, and the backyard is now functional and beautiful. I appreciate the natural setting, and our native plants and bee lawn let nature to be itself.”
“Weeding has decreased, and the backyard is now functional and beautiful.” - Mark Van Holland
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