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How long can a package go queenless?

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How long can a package go queenless?

Hi there,

First time posting on Reddit, please excuse any breaches of etiquette…

So I got my first Italian bee package on Thursday (metro Atlanta area) and went to install it in the afternoon but was dismayed to find that the queen was dead in her cage along with her attendant bees. Okay, no problem, installed the rest of the hive with no issues and gave them plenty of sugar syrup. Went back into the house and called my supplier and they said they could mail me a new queen. She was sent yesterday (Friday) via UPS and was supposed to be delivered today. Well, it's 10pm now so I think it's safe to say she's not getting here tonight. Tomorrow is Sunday and UPS doesn't deliver… so I will probably be getting her sometime Monday…

I'm rather worried at this point… Firstly, how long can a queen last in the mail? Since residential deliveries are usually later in the day, she's gonna have been in there for almost 4 days with no water, to say nothing of storage conditions…

Secondly, will the rest of the package be okay without a queen for this long? If she's dead on arrival and I have to get yet another queen, they're gonna go for like a week without one… I haven't opened the hive yet, but are they going to be doing all the stuff they should, like building comb, collecting nectar and pollen, etc.?

Just looking for a bit of advice so I can calm down a little. Thanks!

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