Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center

School kids outside the Bee Center, photo Richard Brine

The Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center will be open from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays Sept. 4-Oct. 31.

Exhibit Hall

Explore the interactive exhibit hall to learn about honey bees, Monarch butterlies, and native wild bees.

Bee Center Exhibit Hall Child with face in photo prop at the Bee Center

Garden for Pollinators

Observe gardens buzzing with activity from butterflies, hungry bees and other pollinators (May - October).

Garden for Pollinators, photo Jill Leenay


An apiary is a place where bees are kept or a collection of beehives. The Arboretum's educational bee hives are safely viewable from inside the atrium of the Bee Center, through a wall of windows. During bee season from April through October, you will see the bees bringing pollen and nectar back to the hives, from all over the Arboretum If you're lucky, you may even see a beekeeper tending to the bees and harvesting frames of honey.

Visiting viewing the apiary from inside the Bee Center

Sweasy Learning Shelter

Bring a lunch and enjoy a picnic under this shelter next to Bee Center. Capacity 80 people.

Learning Shelter at the Farm at the Arb, photo Jill Leenay

McVay Learning Lab

This is a multi-use classroom space that hosts a variety of classes for all ages, special events, and other programming. Audio-visual capabilities in this room allow us to run virtual online programs to anywhere in the world. Seats 80.

Honey House

The Bee Center's Honey House is a multi-use space where honey from the Bee Center hives is extracted and processed. This space also serves as a learning space for programs, workshops, and school Field Trips.

Bee Center staff extracting honey in the Bee Center, photo Laura Cogswell


The Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center serves 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.

Arboretum Foundation trustee Joe Tashjian, whose family played a lead role in funding and establishing the Bee and Pollinator Center, notes, "As a child, I can remember (mom) putting on one of her bee pins my father gave to her. Alice was an avid gardener. For us, bees were part of the landscape. The research by Marla Spivak and her team at the University of Minnesota led us to know this project has a strong scientific and educational underpinning." Tashjian describes the Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center as a unique place where family memories come together for him, and as a special tribute to his late parents Harry and Alice.


Designed by MSR Design, the Bee Center was the winner of the 2019 AIA COTE Top Ten Award. Given annually by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE), the COTE Top Ten is the architecture industry’s best-known awards program for sustainable design excellence.

The Discovery Center’s metal roof reprises that of the barn, while the exterior Accoya wood cladding is rendered in ­natural and shou sugi ban finishes that alternate yellow and black on the surface of the building. 

Using time-tested passive strategies including radiant heating and cooling systems, a geothermal field, and photovoltaics. Learn more

Bee and Pollinator Center Pic

Drone Footage

2016 Drone Footage of Bee & Pollinator Center and Red Barn

Getting Here