Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center

Front entrance of the Bee center with flowers


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Access the Bee Center via Three-Mile Drive

As you enter the Arboretum, tell the gatehouse you are going to the Farm at the Arb and they can assist you with additional directions.

  • Enter the Arboretum through the Highway 5/Arboretum Blvd main entrance.
  • Drive past the gatehouse and the Visitor Center.
  • Turn left immediately after the Visitor Center at the T-intersection.
  • Go up the hill and turn right on Three-Mile Drive.
  • Follow Three-Mile Drive past the Prairie, Harrison Sculpture Garden, and Shrub Collections to the Hedge Display.
  • Turn right into the Hedge Display parking lot and follow Peter C. Moe Drive for about 1 mile to the Farm/Bee Center. Look for the iconic Red Barn!
  • Park in the lot and enter the Bee Center or Red Barn.

Access the Farm directly via the gate off 82nd Street

This gated entrance is used year-round for Farm-based educational classes, groups, and events where tickets are required for all members and guests, including Donor-Level members.

  • Exit the Arboretum via the gatehouse on Arboretum Drive.
  • Turn right on Highway 5/Arboretum Blvd and go east to County Road 41/Hazeltine Blvd (0.6 miles).
  • Turn right, at the light, onto County Road 41/Hazeltine Blvd and go south to West 82nd St. (0.5 miles).
  • Turn right, at the light, onto West 82nd Street and follow the street west to the gated Arboretum entrance (0.3 miles). West 82nd Street makes a sharp left turn just before this entrance.
  • Turn right and drive up to the gate. The Bee Center and Red Barn will be in front of you in the distance; a callbox will be on your right.
  • Follow the written instructions on the call box at the right to dial an attendant who can remotely open the gate for you. Please have your ticket barcode or class registration ready to read through the speaker to the attendant. 
  • When the gate opens, drive ahead to the parking lot. Parking is free in the lot. 

The Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center serves as a visitor center and hub for community education that is grounded in the world-renowned bee research of University of Minnesota Scientist Marla Spivak, Ph.D. Interactive displays use macro-photography of flowers and pollinators and exhibits offer insights into honey bees, wild bees, Monarch butterflies and other pollinators.

This building contains the Campbell Exhibit Hall, the McVay Learning Lab, Honey House, a working bee apiary, a covered picnic area and gardens filled with pollinator-friendly plantings. There is a water fountain and restrooms in this building along with beverage & snack items for sale.

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Additional History & Building Details

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. Sandy Tanck, Manager of Interpretation at the Arboretum, led a University of Minnesota-wide team to plan visitor displays and exhibits.

The Arboretum’s Tashjian Bee & Pollinator Center, built in 2016, also won an AIA COTE Top Ten Award from the American Institute of Architects’ Committee on the Environment for sustainable design excellence — one of the industry’s best-known awards programs of its kind. Sustainable features include a metal roof, long-life Accoya wood cladding, radiant heating and cooling systems, a geothermal field and solar panels.

In addition to being sustainably built, the center educates all ages about the key role that pollinators play in our ecosystem, using learning spaces, an apiary, a honey house and pollinator gardens with interpretive signage.

Learn more about the building's architecture from MSR Design (PDF)

Bee Center Features