In my country it is usual that we take honey away and we give 40 lbs. sugar to hive. With sugar colony lives from September to May. It is 9 months. Our sugar is 1 euros per kilo and honey is 5 euros per kilo. It is pure business. No room for emotions.
Sugar must be given in 60-66% solution from upper feeding box.
My feeding box is 8 liter. I give to 2-deep hive 24 liter sugar solution, and too one deep hive 16 liter.
When I extract honey I give all pollen frames to hives. It is important to bees welfare. Pollen has vitamins, proteins and lipids for bee. Honey has only energy.
I have over wintered hives with pure sugar. It goes well. At spring they need pollen from Marsh to August. In May they get willow pollen.
Here is some feeding boxes: http://www.hunaja.fi/tuotetieto/syottolaatikot.htm
Many say that I am greed when I take all honey away. So I am. Bees have never claimed to me. They like sugar. So I have done 40 years.
I wonder the system where beekeeper feed hive all winter. It makes hive raise brood all winter and hive dies. In our climate hives must be in peace from September to Marsh. In Australia they tried to raise brood over winter and gived pollen patty to hives but hives got sick.
At the beginning of October bees make they last flights to outside and they stay in box until to the beginning of Marsh.
When I give 24 liter sugar solution, bees carry it into hive during one week. First 2 feeding box and then one week pause and third box more.
Into one deep hive I give solution so much as it takes.
My winter losses have been 0,5 hive per 15 hives. More I loose queens when they catch the nosema. I keep 20% extra hives over winter to cover losses. So I need not to cry if some hive dies.
During two years I have over wintered 3 frame colonies with 6 W terrarium heater. It has worked splendid. Now I put more small colonies and get extra queens from them for spring.