Re: royal jelly in queen cells
I just had a virgin incubator queen emerge two nights ago. I was able to observe her behavior for about two hours. She immediately will feed herself with honey or syrup and maybe take a sip of water. I placed her in a JZBZ style cage and plugged it with some candy dough I made with powdered sugar and Karo. I saw her nibbling on that too. My big take away from last year's fiasco is to remove the queen from the incubator! She will do just fine at (warm) room temp just like a mated queen you buy through the mail.
I put her in a queenless nuc last night at around 30 hours post emergence. Do not know how long they can fend for themselves if left alone.
Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.