Does feeding lead to lazy bees?
I think way too much feeding goes on now days.... When I started 25 years ago you almost never heard of people feeding their bees... They got the syrup that was left in the package after shipment and that was it... I am still of the opinion that the left over syrup is all they need to get started. Now days people feed, feed, feed.... Then wonder why their hives do not produce surplus honey? It is because they don't have to collect nectar so why should they? If you stop feeding your dog it is going to go out and get what it needs to survive.
I was looking back at some of the old threads on the forum and came across one of the early posts about feeding dry sugar by MT Camp. That was back in Nov 2004 and he referred to it as "emergency feeding". And that is what it should be, for emergencies... You have a bad nectar year and just need to get the bees through the winter, or you have a poor producer and want to get the resources through so you can give them a better queen come spring, so you put a feeder in, throw some dry sugar on, lay some fondant on the hive. If you put a feeder on in August of course the fall flow is going to look lousy, the bees are not going to go out and get it.
The goal should be to propagate the most productive hives and the ones that can winter with the least resources. Not Feed them so they survive regardless of production and resource consumption.
Always question Conventional Wisdom.