glennster - I did the same thigns a few years ago - dripping sugar. You can immediately add a quilt box to help out.
I listened to Palmer and imlemented his advice. I fed 2:1 to weight, typically 80 lb. net for me or more which gets inverted into honey in each hive. I measuring with bottom and fish scales. I have not changed since ( 2 years). I will not feed again until next Fall.
Determine the weight you need to get to the next flow - trial and error, start at 60 lb. min. Weigh your hive gear, estimate bee weight, then weigh the hive and determine how much you need to feed. One gallon of 2:1 is about 10 lb. of stored sugar honey. I based my weight, 80 lb. or more, as measured on a Nov. 1-5 date. If I need more weight I put 2:1 back on. Last year, with my standardized brood chamber, measured hive weights and 2-inch insulation I felt confident for the first time. I never fed again, not even patties, watched weights come Spring, weights went really low, then BINGO, weights went up - "FLOW TIME" and the bees were ready.
If you need to feed when it is cold insulate the feeder - top and sides. Better yet the whole hive as bee-heat will warm the syrup up and they will take it. I have, via in-process learning , fed a nuc in Jan. and can feed anytime.