I'm in oregon and we have around a month of rain and chilly temps left (around 50 f)
last week the weather got sunny and the bees were bringing in lots of pollen and I suspect a little nectar as well.
The question is.. I have two hives (both about 3 frames of bees "strong". Should I fill my miller feeders with 1:1 sugar syrup to get these queens to start laying?
I figure these hives are sooo weak they need the extra jumpstart and their numbers are soo few they couldn't possibly exhaust food stores. If worst comes to worst I'll sprinkle pollen substitute in the hive and keep feed on them.
thoughts or suggestions?
When is the main honey flow? What is your management style?
In the end you need to work out what works for you and the bees. You probably won't get it right the first try. In theory you want to stimulate brood rearing about 42 - 63 days before the main flow so those bees will be forages for the main flow. If you stimulate sooner you'll end up with a lot of deadbeats eating up all your stores.
Some don't stimulate at all. I'm going to try it again this year, because I really haven't tried it in Eastern Nebraska. I gave it up in Western Nebraska. If I don't like the outcome, I may quit doing it here too.
You just have to work out what works for you, your climate, your race of bees and your honey flow. But I would start with a rough prediction of the honey flow and count backwards from there.