Pollinator Friendly Alliance is small but mighty, like the creatures we advocate for. We brought the country to the city. There were challenges and unknowns, and with the support of friends and community, we did just that – Invite them in!


On a perfect summery day, 1400 bee friends buzzed on over to Kieran’s Kitchen Northeast, not just for rock n roll, craft beer and food, but in support of butterflies, bees and pollinator friendly communities.


Party-goers sported stilted queen bee costumes, insect wings and antennae at POLLI*NATION’s fourth art and music festival for pollinators. Among them were local and state luminaries, artists, scientists, advocates, farmers, conservationists, and concerned citizens joining forces to protect pollinators. Laurie Schneider of Pollinator Friendly Alliance said, “Minnesota is a leader in this country for pollinator protections because of the work being done right here by people like you and me, let’s invite them in to our backyards, schoolyards, parks, public spaces, gardens and farms”.

POLLI*NATION is designed for inspiration, celebration and to learn. Each year, Pollinator Friendly Alliance invites their art and science compadres to join the hive. Artists invited guests to print their own BEE advocacy posters on Yohman ink presses,  The Folding Bee guided folders to create an origami paper bee with a face on a stick underneath the swarm wall sculpture, Hellbox books invited kids and adults to sew their own signature into a bee book treasure, Hopes & Fears asked people to write down their own for a life size projection alongside monarch migration movies, festival-goers tried their luck at the spin the wheel game for cool bee and garden prizes next to the roll-your-own bee bomb station with Plantables and advocates offered postcards to legislators for pollinator protections. Humans moved about like a field bee might sampling nectar sources at the honey tastings compliments of Bare Honey, Skinny Jakes Fat Honey and Bone Lake Meadows Apiaries. The monarch caterpillars on Minnesota Native Landscapes native flowers plus Heirloomista’s basket style sun hives mesmerized all.


Polli*NATION is the place to take it all in on habitat, advocacy, pesticides, ecology and pollinator biology with the experts face-to-face including Pollinator Friendly Alliance, Xerces Society, Conservation Minnesota, Humming for Bees, Organic Bob, BWSR, Bee to Bloom, Pollinate Minnesota, Center for Ecology and Urban Sustainability, U of M Bee Lab, Monarch Joint Venture, Plantables, Land Stewardship Project, MOSES, Organic Consumers Association and more. Crowds surrounded these experts for the insider scoop and advice.

At the outdoor stage and street fair, Sociable Cider Werks mead and Finnegans honey brew flowed, delectable fresh made vegan and meat choices from Kieran’s Kitchen on the grill. Performance included 4 musical acts:  Brian Just, Lucy Michelle & Friends, Chris Koza, and Everett Smithson Band.  MotionArt performed a delightful choreographed bee and flower dance to hollers from the audience.


POLLINATOR HERO AWARDS were presented by Rep. Rick Hansen to three celebrated advocates for their outstanding work to protect pollinators.  Laurie Schneider of Pollinator Friendly Alliance, Eric Rupp of Pollinate Minnesota, and Sarah Foltz Jordan of Xerces Society.  Eight Minnesota cities accepted POLLINATOR PROTECTION AWARDS. The cities of White Bear Township, City of Afton, New Hope, Shoreview, Fergus Falls, Fridley, Faribault, and Dakota Soil & Water District joined 35 other Minnesota communities by passing a pollinator protection resolution.  One city at a time, Minnesota is making its mark as a leader in pollinator protection.


Check out Brian Just band:  https://youtu.be/cyKW0U8ifUM

MotionArt bee dance:  https://youtu.be/pQC07RwRzDM

Minnesota Pollinator Hero Awards:   https://youtu.be/G5Dv92WWg_o


Photographs of POLLINATION FESTIVAL here: