Annette, my heart goes out to you, in a happy, happy way. I remember your plight and sadness of the loss of so many bees in your dear little colony, it was a sad state of the affair. I am happy, happy, happy.
When you feed your bees, yes go for the 2:1 ratio. This is good for the bees as they do not have to evaporate the water from it as much as the 1:1. In our area the only time that we fed the 1:1 is in the early spring, for a short time to mimic the nectar flow to get the queen and bees really going. Other than that: always the 2:1. It is easy to make.
We were taught in our lessons that in order to prevent the sugar from granulation at this high concentration is to bring the sugar syrup mixture almost to a boil, do not boil. This evidently prevents the crystalization, which can be a nuisance for sure. I have seen sugar crystalize in just a very few short days. Weird eh? Of course, you must always cool the syrup, we know that the bees cannot take it hot :roll:, it would surely burn their tongues.
Good luck, Annette. Feed the bees definitely, you are not taking honey off anymore from this colony and they will use whatever you give them. When the little flows happen, they will not use the sugar syrup, but it is always there in the event of a dearth. Yeah!!! Good for you girl, happy day, great life, great health. Cindi