Agricultural Hall

An Urban Agriculture Supply & Resource Center

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September 10, 2017

The Urban Africultural Fair and Expo returns!  Celebrate all things agricultural in the city; bees, chickens, garden and orchard produce, maple sugaring, canning & pickling, and much more.  Games and contests for all ages. And enter your favorite garden veggie, kitchen concoction, or orchard beauty for a chance to win prizes and bragging rights.  Click here for the latest details, updates, and instructions.

September 16, 2017 from 10:00am - noon

Honey Harvest -- Help spin honey from honeycomb while learning about beekeeping and the magical, golden world of honey bees.  This workshop will be held at The Boston Nature Center, and is a ticketed event.  See for info.

For other workshops and happenings, check the Workshops calendar here

Agricultural Hall?

In 1818, the Massachusetts Society for the Promotion of Agriculture built the original Agricultural Hall on Dighton Street in Brighton.  It served as the hub of the Brighton Fair and Cattle Show, one of the earliest and largest such fairs in the country.  In 1829, "a 17-pound turnip, a 19-pound radish, and a bough on which pears hung like a cluster of grapes were among the outstanding exhibits of that year."  In 1844 the building was moved to its present location at the corner of Chestnut Hill Avenue and Washington Street.

Dr. William P. Marchione & 

The Bostonian Society

Brighton Allston Historical Society

Agricultural Hall

245 Amory Street

Jamaica Plain, MA  02130

617-388-7378  /  e-mail Ag Hall

Sat.&Sun., 10:00am-2:30pm & by appt.

Agricultural Hall orders bees from several suppliers who, in turn, get their bees from bee farms in southern states like Louisiana and Georgia.  The 2017 packages have all been distributed.  Orders for 2018 will be taken beginning January 1, 2018.  

If you're still looking for bees, hunt for swarms, split your stronger, 2+ year-old hives, or purchase a nuc.  Nucs (a nucleus, or core, of a larger hive) contains five frames with a queen, four frames filled with bees, a minimum of two frames of brood, and at lease two frames with a mix of honey and pollen.  

Laurie, of Free to Bee (, brought hundreds of East Texas nucs up to Massachusetts this spring, and she still has several nucs left.  They're wonderful bees.

If you want a nuc from Laurie, call or text me at 617.388.7378.

Nucs Texas mutts n/a Avail. now thru ~6/20 $225


Briefly, here are some characteristics of Italian, Russian, and Carniolan bee stocks:

  The most common.  Great honey producers.  Generally gentle.  Long brood season means large colonies well into fall.  Italian bees are more likely to rob honey from other colonies, putting healthy colonies at risk of catching and spreading disease.
Carniolan:  They build comb and gather honey very quickly.  Reportedly the most docile bee (but aggressiveness in any variety can vary widely).  Not likely to rob.  Because their buildup is fast, they require more careful management to control their tendency to swarm.
Russian:  Brood production is more closely related to nectar flow than in other bee stocks; spring build-up is good, and when nectar falls off in late summer, the queen cuts back dramatically on her egg-laying.   They are more hygienic (especially better at fighting-off parasitic mites) and generally more resistant to disease.  Defend well against robbing.  Reportedly less docile than Italians.

Again, there is always variation from colony to colony, even within varieties.

For more details, see; 
...or do a web search.  There's a lot of info out there!