“Me and The Bee” opened at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in September 2018. The pollinator-themed playground is sponsored by farmer-owned cooperative Land O’ Lakes Inc., spreads across 4,800 square feet, and it’s adjacent to the Kids’ Farm and Conservation Pavilion.
The playground’s features include natural pollinator habitats—honeycombs, tree stumps and hollow trees—made into steps, slides and tunnels.
“Land O’Lakes’ gift will teach future generations of zoogoers why wildlife matters, including the pollinators we find in our own backyards,” said Steve Monfort, John and Adrienne Mars Director, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in a press release. “In Me and the Bee, we have created a magical and fun experience that will show children and their families how bees live, their important role in the food chain and how they affect the health of an ecosystem. I hope this attraction inspires visitors to appreciate these animals and take action to conserve them.”
Here's a video of the exhibit:
“Pollinators are critical for producing much of the food we eat every day, and as a farmer-owned cooperative, Land O’Lakes is passionate about helping to protect and spread awareness about these important creatures,” said Autumn Price, vice president of government relations at Land O’Lakes Inc., in a press release. “We are excited to support the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s educational efforts for families, especially through this dynamic playground that presents bees’ crucial role in food production in a fun and accessible way. The Zoo’s mission to save species perfectly aligns with Land O’Lakes’ own work to improve the health and well-being of pollinators and cultivate habitats where they can flourish and thrive.”