I have been feding my two hives 1 to 1 sugar water for the past month. They are going through a "deep frame feeder" every three days. I also note that they are filling comb with honey.
1. How long do I continue feeding them?
2. Are they making honey out of the sugar water?
ItÂ’s spring your bees should find enough food. I would stop feeding unless you like to eat the sugar- honey.
Yes your bees are making "honey" out of the sugar water, but it isn't natural honey, and you can't sell it.
How long should you feed? As the AxMan said, they should be doing well enough on their own if they are in an area like mine where the flowers are blooming big-time. for Furture reference, I have heard that newly hived bees need to have 8 frames of drawn comb with strong stores before you quit feeding. Your package supplier should send such instructions with your packages. That isn't to say that you can quit earlier. However, the first time I hived bees, I did quit too soon expecting a good nectar flow and ended up feeding them that fall.
Also on feeding, remember that 1:1 mimics nectar relatively close and thus has the similar effects (such as increasing wax production as well as brood production). Feeding a thicker solution of 2 sugar :1 water more closely mimics honey stores. This is most often used to build stores for the winter if the hives are light. It doesn't increase brood production as much; instead, it gives the bees something to stuff into their existing honey combs.
And finally, remember that feeding honey instead of bleached sugar-water provides a more natural diet.
If there's plenty of nectar I don't feed them.
My old-timer friends advised me last night to keep feeding--nectar flow's just around the corner, but when nectar's available, they'll stop taking the sugar water or at least will take much, much less, at which time I'll stop feeding.