congestion at the feeder...
I had some honey/water left from washing comb. I placed it away from the hives in a chicken feeder with quilt batting to prevent drowning. Boy... they drained it in no time.
Earlier in the summer, I put some honey water out and they pretty much ignored it.
Can I then say that one way to tell if a dearth is on is to gage their reaction to honey/water ?
Very good way to tell. Same applies to pollen sub if you use it. If the real thing is available, they won't touch the substitute.