Re: Really need to feed during dearth?
Feeding is all about ensuring they have adequate stores, if they have adequate stores why would you feed? If there's a good reason why they don't have adequate stores, why wouldn't you feed?
I personally find feeding a PIA, too much like work, but that also means I don't pull all their honey. I tend to leave an equivalent amount to the quantity I intend to overwinter. For me, it's a pay me now or pay later scenareo; did the "additional" honey pulled bring in enough cash to pay for the time, materials and equipment needed to feed? However, my location doesn't have a total dearth during summer, it's more of a hand to mouth existence and the small fall flow usually allows them to make up any deficit from the dearth.
Not a fan of open feeding with its potential to bring representatives from any colony within two miles together. For those colonies needing a little TLC, I try to feed late in the day and an amount they can consume overnight. Any required heaving feeding always comes with a "why" is it needed, I do buy into reducing "dinks" and taking my losses in the fall; but if feeding is the decision, it's 2+ gal top feeders and maximizing robber protection.
Obviously not the only approach but what works for me in my location.
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