I finally found the exact size of the 1:1 syrup jar I have been feeding my bees. While the formula at 1:1 matters, the size of the jar doesn’t, except that I need to change it out more often. The old mason jar I have been using is 4 cups filled almost to the top, so that’s a quart. They are now seeming to go though this ever 24-48hrs, so I need some bigger jars, or more of them if I want to deal with the expanding size of the hive. Tomorrow I’ll try searching for a half-gallon (two quarts) mason jar, and possibly use two of them at once. That would be four times the syrup I am feeding them now, therefore lasting long enough for me to go away for a long weekend and not worry they are running dry.
I now have enough empirical data to say that they are drinking the syrup only when they can’t forage, as the syrup is drained after a rainy, or very windy day. Today it’s in the low 70s with a gentle breeze, about an easy of a day on the Cape as it gets, and the ladies are leaving and entering the hive so quickly there is a shuffle on the landing pad each time one comes or goes. Clearly they are ready for work when the weather permits, and judging from their colorful pollen sacks as they return, they’re successful as well.