I have 2 hives. I want to expand to 4 hives next summer, by doing splits, assuming both hives come out of winter okay.

May/June is probably the best time to split. If I take a frame of brood (w/nurse bees), a frame of honey, and stick a queen in a medium super (w/built up comb), how likely is that to succeed?

I'd probably have to buy southern Italian queens, altho I'd really rather a northern Russian (for my area), but my last Russian queen wasn't ready until July. I don't want to wait that long.

If you're doing a split with a new queen, do you have to slowly introduce her like with a new package?