I inspected one of my hives today. It's the 1st year for this colony as I just installed them from a package this last Spring 2012. All through the hive consisting currrently of 3 medium 8 frame boxes there was only about 16 to 20% capped brood. I think that might be normal because they are Russian and not Italian and there has been a derth around here I think. The bee population seems to me to be ok, flying in and out as normal with some bringing pollen in. There is very much just open comb with nothing but bees crawling on it. I saw no honey at all . I think I better feed.
A couple years I bought a large quantity of honey from a local supplier to make mead. I thought he cut me a good deal on it but, the honey is very strange and not suitable to eat or for mead. I actually did make mead with it and ended up dumping it. It seems the bees must have made if from a melting cattle nutrition block or something and not from nector. It's practicly black and looks like sluge from an old engine back before moter oil had detergent in it. I thought about just dumping it, but if it is better to feed bees as apposed to sugar syrup, that would be better. How many pounds of honey to water should I use to heat and mix or just feed it to them straingt in a shallow dish or something?