I’ve had a handful of old bee boxes, but this is the first true queen bee box I’ve found—made for her alone. I believe a small box like this was used for carrying then introducing a new queen into a hive while protecting her during the acclimation process. There are two carved out holes on one short side; I believe there was likely once a rotating piece of wood or tin that could be used to cover the holes and/or secure the cage inside the hive; once situated i think one may have been corked and the other filled with fondant candy, which the other bees would eat through to release the queen once she had been accepted into the hive. (At least this is what I understand to be the basic idea!) Due to their small size these are fairly rare to find; I of course love the aesthetics of it all, and, as with larger bee boxes, how these reflect the particularities of their makers. Quite a patina on this one, too, and I love how the mesh was positioned straight across on one side and on the diagonal on the other.
2 11/16” t x 2 3/4” w x 15/16” d and in good, clearly used, I would guess antique, condition.