City Quotient: What's the Buzz on the Statehouse Grounds?

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

What is the miniature building surrounded by a decorative wrought-iron fence on the northeast corner of the Statehouse grounds?

Part of an old stone column? A memorial to someone? Maybe a garage ventilation shaft? No, no, and no. Give up? It's a beehive. Who'da guessed it? But it's true. The hive is made of wood but painted to look like stone, and it has an official state seal because, well, these are official Ohio state bees. (The queen's name is Adelaide, after Adelaide Ott, one of Ohio's first female legislators.) It came about this past April, when the hive was dedicated to celebrate Earth Day. The Central Ohio Beekeepers Association and the Ohio State Beekeepers Association donated the hive and the bees, and Nina's Village Apiary is the project's mentor. So far, those busy bees have produced a gallon and a half of honey. Honeybees, which are among several pollinators essential to much of our agriculture, have been dying off, and Tamra Ansel proposed the new hire to do something to help. She's the grounds manager and beekeeper for the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, and she wanted to increase awareness of the importance of bees. The bees aren't aggressive-the fence around their hive is there to protect them, not people, so go have a look.

Jeff Darbee is a preservationist, historian and author in Columbus. Send your questions to, and the answer might appear in a future column.