Bees at the fair

Pollinators will have a presence at this year's Minnesota State Fair. The Eco Experience will feature a display of straw-bale gardens, urban-friendly plants and beehives (but no actual bees), designed to raise awareness of declining pollinator populations and what we can do to protect their habitats. In the garden at noon daily, presenters will discuss how to transform your front lawn into a pollinator habitat, why urban beekeeping is good for cities and how to protect native plants so native bees can help pollinate crops. On Saturday and Aug. 27, author Heather Holm will talk about the top native plant species for pollinators. On Monday, Aug. 28 and Sept. 1, author Joel Karsten will demonstrate how to create a straw-bale garden.

Also at this year's State Fair, local author Dawn Pape will release two children's books about pollinating insects, with story-time presentations on the Dirt Stage in the Agriculture/Horticulture building. The books, "Thank You, Bugs!" and "Mason Meets a Mason Bee," are geared for toddlers through third-graders, and feature rhyming text and photos of kids' reactions to insects. The theme of both books is that even though bugs and bees can be scary, many are important pollinators and help create the food we eat. Pape's story-time presentations will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Monday through Aug. 28.

Bees at the library

Pollinators also will be the subject of a lecture, "All About Bees," on Thursday at the Minneapolis Central Library. There will be a reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by the lecture from 7 to 8 p.m. by Crystal Boyd, bee researcher at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. There will also be a tour of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden "Florilegium" exhibit, featuring 50 botanical paintings by students of the Minnesota School of Botanical Art. The paintings depict native plants found at the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden in Minneapolis, the oldest public wildflower garden in America. The Central Library is located at 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

All about trees

Want to add more trees to your landscape? Choosing and planting the right one can be challenging. Doug Danielson, nursery buyer for Bachman's, will present a how-to workshop and answer tree-planting questions from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. today at Bachman's, 6010 Lyndale Av. S., Minneapolis. The cost is $5. To register, visit

Fun with stones

Stone structures can add distinctive character to your garden or landscape. Peter Juhl will demonstrate how to create gravity-defying stone sculptures during a class, "Power of Balance: Stone Sculptures for Your Garden," 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The cost is $55 ($35 for Arb members). To register, visit, or call 612-301-1210.

Kim Palmer