CHASKA, Minn. - The grand opening of the Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center on Sunday, Sept. 18 celebrates a new era in the history of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The center will serve as a hub for community outreach and education that is grounded in the world-renowned bee research of University of Minnesota Scientist Marla Spivak, Ph.D.

The 6,700 square-feet center houses technologically-advanced systems in the Learning Lab for classes, events and conferences combined with interactive displays designed for all ages. Located on the Arboretum’s 28-acre Farm Garden Campus, the center is next to the Arboretum’s iconic Red Barn.

The Interactive Exhibit Gallery features amazing macro-photography of flowers and pollinators, videos and hands-on experiences that offer insights into honey bees, wild bees, Monarch butterflies and other pollinators.

Interesting and engaging for visitors of all ages, the bee center offers amazing opportunities to engage with pollinators, understand their role in food crops and with flowers, how to nurture and create habitats for them, and realize their challenges in today’s environment.

The family-friendly highlights of the day include:

An interactive pollinator guest book

Photo areas to take pictures wearing bee-keeping garb and a bee beard

Sample honey and beeswax in the Honey House

Make tissue-paper flowers using seeds that can be planted to attract pollinators

Live music and refreshments

Guided tours of the beautiful pollinator gardens

Magiscopes allow visitors to see insects magnified

Author book signing with Rhonda Fleming-Hayes

View live aviaries and ask questions of a Bee Squad beekeeper

Engage with displays, watch videos and participate in hands-on demonstrations

The event runs from 1-4 p.m. The bee center is open only during those hours on Sept.18. Visitors will enter through the Arboretum gatehouse and park. Shuttles and trolleys will run throughout the event to bring visitors to the bee center and return them. The event is free with gate admission. No entry is allowed off 82nd Street.

For more information on upcoming events: http://arboretum.umn.edu/BeeAndPollinatorCenter.aspx