Personally I find pollen and adequate stores are the key to stimulation. The 2:1 will have more energy in it and save them having to dehydrate so much, AND it will keep better than the 1:1. That's what I would use.
In the end the bees will use it and do fine regardless of 2:1 1:1 or 1:2. If I'm really TRYING to use it for stimulation, (which as I said deosn't really seem to work well unless they are short on stores) I'm more likely to do 1:2 (1 part sugar to 2 parts water). But if I'm just trying to provide materials and stores I go with 2:1.
I've deliberated on this, and seems to me, bees can add water to 2:1 to make it whatever they want. Perhapse if the colony is really weak, or water is far, 1:2 may be helpful. Its alot easier to feed 2:1 when feeding.. say 5 or more hives.
I guess the idea would be that 1:2 is closer to nectar and will move the bees into spring mode quicker. I've tried it but I can't say I noticed anything. Plus here in Ohio you get enough variation in the spring weather that I'm not sure trying to meddle with their start date is such a good idea. That 10 day forcast is only good to remind you of humanity's limits.
I've used 1:2 in the hot summer lulls because I figure they need water as much as sugar and might as well get it in one place.
If the bees have access to sufficient water or moisture, they can melt and consume the dry sugar, but it's more work for them, hence not as readily available as syrup or honey.
This was my first winter with bees and I'm surprised at how dry it is inside my hives, considering how big a problem condensation can be. I suppose this to some extent depends on the climate. There's very little condensation in my hives and I think my bees would be challenged to really deal with dry sugar. I might try a little this weekend and see what they do with it.
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