2nd year beekeeper. Bees in my work apiary are in love with this feeder I recently put together. They are very active today and it just reached 50F (high for today). Supposed to get snow tomorrow.
Anyway, is it a good idea to keep this out all winter, or will it stimulate the queen to lay? I'm guessing this can't be a bad thing. They are consuming a lot of 2:1 syrup. I've also put some fondant on the frame tops.
Iím in a colder climate and most donít do it here because they are afraid it will promote early brood rearing and cause them to eat through their stores, or will try to protect the brood instead of moving up and starve, or build up too big and swarm in the spring. However, some people feed pollen sub all year anyway and donít have any problems. When feeding dry pollen substitute, they will store it and use it when they want to. I kept a hive top feeder on with 2.5:1 syrup all winter last year and open fed dry pollen sub all winter and my bees came out of winter better than they went in. One thing that might cause problems is if you feed them so much that they keep themselves honey and pollen bound all winter and canít raise brood when they need to.
Bees need the carb and protien for brood. Yes if you supply protein and they have carbs in the form of stored honey or feeding they will most likely brood early in NC. If you do this be prepared to split early because of swarming issues.
You have been pointed to Randy Oliver's articles. Recently Oliver has stated preliminary finding show dry pollen stored in comb is different than fermented bee bread and may not be as nutritious as thought. Yes they store it better in comb but is it as advantageous so Oliver sticks to patties. Problem with feeding patties for us in SC and NC is shb.
If your climate doesn’t support regular cleansing flights pollen subs, it’s not a good idea to feed em till spring.
OP is in NC no problems there....snow one day... short pants and t-shirts the next
Just remember if you start to feed and brood up you need to continue to feed. Bees in our area tend to starve more in February because folks quite feeding and think there is forage... NOT. Also if the bees brood up and there are not enough bees to cluster over brood, you are susceptible to chill brood when night temps drop.