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New TBH two and a half weeks old. I've been feeding 2:1 sugar water from the start. A few days ago, I switched to 1:1 sugar water. They are eating a quart a day. I have about six bars of comb with eggs and uncapped larvae. Here's my question: How long do I continue to feed? Do I need to keep feeding since they're starting from scratch so late in the season? Or have I given them enough of a head start that I should stop or reduce feeding?
 

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Once you start, you can't stop until they are getting the real thing on their own. If you stop and there is not a nectar flow, then you've forced them to build up and then let them hang out to dry. So feed until they stop taking it.
 

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In my experience (and I'm only in my 2nd year), a few bees will keep visiting the feeder when a nectar flow is on, but it takes so long for them to empty it that the syrup starts to ferment. They really do prefer nectar over sugar water. But if their population is building fast, and there's not a good natural source, then they will suck the syrup down fast like yours are doing.
 

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Force them to hunt?
ha. Honeybees instinctively forage for food every day that they can get out of the hive.

there is no such thing as lazy bees, only lazy beekeepers.

when not forced to expend carbs for every carb they need ( = nectar - wax - honey) bees will expend carbs for pollen (=brood food - more bees - stronger colony).

Feed until you have a flow on or the bees have built out enough comb to make it through winter.

Feed 1-1 while the bees are still building comb and then 2-1 if you need to give them something to fill the combs.

Hopefully by then they'll be strong on their own.

Now is a little late to start a colony from scratch here in Maine, but our everything shuts off around 9/15. I am sure that you have a longer season.
 
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