He's not getting the bees until the morning of the 5th. I would be getting them tomorrow, but his supplier pushed it off a week because of the cold weather.
I'll be picking the nuc and queen up at night. Around here the temps are suppose to be in the 40s. More than likely it'll be quite a bit colder in Vermont where I'm getting them.
Would a queen survive 4 days in a cage if I put a drop of sugar water on the screen once or twice a day? Then survive another couple days being acclimated to the packaged bees?
I understand the delivery issues. Remember that queens are shipping through the USPS and sometimes it takes a few days to arrive at their destination. Be sure that they put some candy in the queen cage and a couple of nurse bees. I would think using a drop or two of honey on the screen of the queen cage might be better than sugar syrup...more nutrients...but, the syrup may be better in that it might more approximate nectar.
I wonder if you cut make two push-in cages out of #8 hardware cloth and use them to confine both queens in the same nuc? It seems the workers in the nuc might be aggressive toward the strange queen but she should be safe in the cage...it might be a tricky thing to do. I'd get somebody else's (somebody with more experience than what I have!) opinion on that before trying it.
Be aware that even though you do all you can that a queen can still die on you. My mentor and I hived a swarm the other day that ended up having two queens in it. He held one of the queens out with the intention of putting her in a nuc the next day....when he went to use her she was dead.