Several American fraternal groups used the beehive as a symbol in their ritual. It was part of the Odd Fellows First Degree in the old structure, but the beehive is perhaps most central to the Daughters of Rebekah, the women’s branch of the Odd Fellows that was established in 1851. The beehive is also used in Masonic ritual and appears on aprons and tracing boards. Although these groups have major differences in the stories behind their rituals, all interpret the beehive in the same way: as a representation of industry and of unity in working toward a common purpose.
Stacy C. Hollander, "Fraternal Beehive," exhibition label for Mystery and Benevolence: Masonic and Odd Fellows Folk Art from the Kendra and Allan Daniel Collection. Stacy C. Hollander, curator. New York: American Folk Art Museum, 2016.