Retail Construction Services, Inc. is dedicated to giving back.

We give back not only to those in need within our community, but also the future generations of this wonderful community. What started out as a great idea has grown exponentially and has become an amazing reality. Here at the RCS Giving Garden, school groups, master gardeners, corporate volunteers, and our own employees work together for the common good of teaching children the art of gardening and the importance of healthy eating. Click Here for Full Story.

Retail Construction Services, Inc.
11343 39th Street N.
Lake Elmo, MN 55042

From HWY 36 - go south on Lake Elmo Ave, turn left onto 39th Street, garden is at corner of 39th and Laverne.
From HWY 5- going west from Stillwater take right onto Laverne (near Fury dealership) garden is on the right at corner of Laverne and 39th street.

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The RCS Giving Garden

The RCS Giving Garden


"Time For Me ELC" Kids, Armed with Umbrella's, Tackle Bees and Butterflies!!

Click on any photo to enlarge
There was a parade of umbrellas on Laverne Street as the kids from Time For Me ELC braved the wet morning to learn about Honey Bees and Butterflies from Bee Keeper and Master Gardener Kathi McMahon!

With the help of her honey bee and butterfly puppets, Kathi introduced the kids to two pollinators.  She then read a wonderful book called “The Beeman” by Laurie Krebs and Valeria Cis.  Told from the viewpoint of a child whose Grandpa is a beekeeper, this rhyming text offers an accessible and engaging introduction to the behavior of bees. You will learn where they live, how honey is made, what a beekeeper does, and more!
Miss Kathi, WC Master Gardener and Bee Keeper! 
We were all treated to a surprise!  Kathi brought in a clear plastic container with fresh honey combs from her hives along with LIVE bees!   Everyone got to pass around  the container and watch the bees very close up and still be very safe. 

Kathi taught them something to say over and over again if they are by bee:  “If you don’t bother them, they won’t bother  you”!

We also learned that if you are stung by a honey bee, the honey bee will die after stinging you.  So they really DON’T want to sting you!

Kathi brought an amazing assortment of tools that bee keepers use to allow the kids to touch, feel and pass around.  First we got to see a bee keepers suit.  The friendly beekeeper might have the best interest of his or her bees in mind, but the bees don’t seem to always see it that way. Protective clothing makes beekeeping a lot more enjoyable when the bees take exception to having the roof popped off and their home rummaged through by a human.  Also the brush she uses to gently wipe the bees off of the the hive.

Next was the smoker!  The fact that smoke calms bees has been known since ancient times; however, the scientific explanation was unknown until the 20th century and is still not fully understood. Smoke masks alarm pheromones which include various chemicals, that are released by guard bees or bees that are injured during a beekeeper's inspection. The smoke creates an opportunity for the beekeeper to open the beehive and work while the colony's defensive response is interrupted.

We then got to look at and try on the bee keepers gloves!

Gloves keep the bee keepers safe from being stung.  Kathi told us that when bee keepers get very good at what they do, many of them no longer were the gloves.

Then we got to feel and touch a frame that the bees had deposited some honey on.  We got to see how bees are very, very good at making shapes.  Each honey comb is a "perfect" hexagon, meaning all six sides are of equal length.  Click on the following link to read more!

Another interesting fact that we learned:  Did you know that Honey Bees dance?  They do!  It is called the Waggle dance, and it is a way for bees to give direction to flower fields and as well as a new home!  It’s a natural GPS system.  See this link for more information:
Kathi brought all kind of honey for the kids to look at.  They were all different colors because they came from different flower!

Next everyone got to see the bee hive that Kathi brought with her and how it is set up.  Here is a link to more information.

Did you know that in the winter time, a bee hive stays about 92 Degrees?!   Also, bee’s like a very clean hive, so in the winter, they don’t go potty in the hive.  They hold it until a nice day.  Then the whole swarm goes out, goes potty, and comes back in.  Amazing!

We also got to see the screened box that honey bees are transferred in if hey com from California.
After the lesson, the skies were clear!  Kathi had brought some Monarch Butterflies that had just hatched and were ready to be set free.  We took them outside, and the kids got the chance to let the butterflies fly away and enjoy their new lives.

Thanks again Kathi for giving everyone the most wonderful lessons on honey bees and butterflies!
 - Joni Fletty, Retail Construction Services, Inc.