“The Arrival of the Bee Box” uses allusion throughout, with some instances more clear-cut than obvious.
The first allusion to consider is one that applies in general to the whole poem. It’s possible that the bee box represents an allusion to Pandora’s box. In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first mortal woman. Zeus gave her a box containing evil in all its various forms, which she then opened (thus bringing about the presence of evil on Earth). If the box itself is read as a metaphor for the human mind, then perhaps this subtle allusion relates to difficulties of life and their related psychological troubles. Opening up the mind releases all sorts of troubles on the world.
In the third stanza, the poem alludes to the African slave trade. This was the horrendous practice of the enslavement of African men, women, and children by slave traders. The allusion here is uncomfortable, because it seems to equate blackness with physical aggression. At the same time, it does speak to the way that power can corrupt people.
In the fourth and fifth stanzas, the poem alludes to Ancient Rome, and in particular the emperor Julius Caesar. This is another example of power, relating both to the authority of the emperor (the speaker) and the collective strength of the mass population (the “mob”).
The final allusion is quite subtle, but is supported by other poems from the same collection (Ariel). In the sixth stanza, the speaker entertains the idea of turning into a tree. This is a reference to the Greek myth of Daphne, who asks to be turned into a tree in order to avoid unwanted male attention. This relates to the speaker’s desire—or one of her various desires—to fade into the background (and give up her power over the box).