I have several batches of queens coming in the box set-up that has the queens in individual cages and bees filling the area around the cages. No attendant directly in with the queen. I have always has queen cages with attendants so this is a first. Some questions.
I know when I open the box, bees will be flying all over. With this loss of attendants, heat, and food support, what is the time frame a queen can handle on her own? (I can supply heat or warmth) I am hoping to use these queens to do on-site splits in apiaries that need number increases. I should be able to do it within the afternoon. But what if I can't? Will the queens make it to the next moring? Is there a way to "bank" the queens and maintain "freashness", after opening the boxes?
If I'm doing on-site splits, what is the best method of queen introduction without any delay from making the split and introducing the queen? Smoking heavy, honey-b-healthy, other? Is any of that needed with a caged queen that the bees need to eat the candy? Is time more of the essence when no attendants are with the queen inside the cage, or will be in the hive take up the care relatively fast?
What is the success rate for queen introduction of this type? Can I expect loss?