Used for shipping a queen bee, this rectangular wooden container has three circular chambers covered in a wire mesh that hold the queen bee and a few accompanying workers bees, who feed her in transit. Two holes at the ends are sealed during transit, one with a cork and the other with a sugar-candy plug. When the cage is introduced to the hive, the bees work their way through the candy plug, and the queen is released.

Shipping of agricultural products blossomed as the result of the 1896 introduction of Rural Free Delivery service and the 1913 commencement of Parcel Post service. The mailing of live animals continues today and is well regulated in the interest of the health of the public and the animals.

Lynn Heidelbaugh, National Postal Museum, April 29, 2006

Place: Maryland

Museum ID: 1991.0414.1


  • Title: Queen honeybee cage
  • Date Created: circa 1990s
  • Physical Dimensions: 1.9 x 8.9 x 2.5 cm
  • Medium: wood; metal; cork

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