We have had good luck with USPS for the last few years. Locally we send them priority and they almost always end up at the post office the next morning. When shipping outside of the State, I ship Priority Express. We use JZ-BZ battery boxes for shipping.
USPS has been consistently reliable for me. I offer the one day shipping or the two day shipping, depending on what the customer wants to pay. I ship in California mini cages with four attendants, and have never had a dead queen.
I ship USPS Express. Usually good service. Occasionally they delay (misplace ) a shipment for a couple days. Still, haven't lost an order or killed any queens. I've shipped all over North America. I use Koehnen screened shipping boxes and 3 hole cages with 9 attendants. Rare to have dead queens or attendants...even after being delayed a couple days.
The weak link in any of them is people. I used to have good luck with USPS, but the last two years I haven't had as much luck. Misplaced or lost packages. Some they never found. More were late than on time. I don't know what happens between "here" and "there" but I suspect you get someone who is afraid of insects and does something weird with the package....
I know the cost matters a lot, but when I get queens shipped to end of the world Montana, I have pretty much decided I will pay for overnight air. I get the queens in great condition in battery boxes and try to recruit other hobbyists so the cost per individual queen is averaged down.
Those few queens I used to get on COLD May mornings never seemed to really shine. I think getting cold is real hard on queens.
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