Re: Hot, dry summer - First Year Beek Question
I think your answer is dependent upon how much syrup/honey they have stored up currently. If all of the comb is drawn and they have several frames of stored honey between the two boxes I would hold off on supplemental feeding for a while. Monitor regularly and only feed if you see the colony lightening up too much. There may be periods over the next few weeks where there are mini flows as different plants bloom and there could be enough nectar coming in to sustain them.
Originally Posted by zohsix
We're heading into the dog days of July and August and a colony in our region will usually cut back on brood production in the lean months to conserve stores. By constantly feeding syrup you would be simulating an ongoing flow and the bees will continue with strong brood production to take advantage of this pseudo flow. Then you have hives with a high population of bees and no real flow going on in the driest part of the summer. They then become dependent upon you feeding them to sustain this number of bees.
If you have a good fall Goldenrod and Aster flow in your area you may want to consider adding supplemental feeding a couple of brood cycles before the peak of the flow so they increase their population and take advantage of the flow, and also have a decent population of young bees heading into winter.
There is no definitive answer to your question other than simply keep a close eye on their stores and feed if necessary. I just wanted to throw out a couple of other things for you to think about.
To everything there is a season....