I've been feeding my new colony of bees since I got them in late July to encourage them to draw out comb and build up the brood and stores. They normally go thru about 36 oz in 5 days. 3 days ago I increased the amount of sugar to water ratio and they started sucking down the entire 36 oz in 4 hrs! Yesterday, I found a bunch of dead bees on the modified boardman feeder. Some obviously died by suffocation since the others would not let them get out from under the feeder. But many others were just laying on the landing area dead.
I made a much more dilute solution this morning (similar to what I had been feeding), and they again sucked it down in 4 hrs but still there were 3 dead bees on the board. There wasn't the terrible feeding frenzy that had happened earlier, but still a lot of activity. Before all this, it was typical for there to be about 6 bees on the feeder at a time. Now there were 100's at the feeder.
Should I continue to feed or hope that they are built up enough workforce to gather their own stores? I still don't have any full frames of honey for the winter, but at least I now have 5 frames of brood that also have honey and pollen bands. The terrible thing is that I probably lost 100-200 bees yesterday when they got caught up in the feeder.