I'm still in the beginning of the practice,practice,practice stage, and haven't done much with the spring stimulative feeding. If I were to, I don't think I'd start much before the middle of March, when the maples bloom. Most of the time the maples start blooming and we get a couple days of wonderful weather, then we get a week or two of 30F weather so they don't break cluster often. By the time it is consistent then there are minor flows starting. I'll see how they are doing in the spring and contemplate it then.
There are also different kinds of feeding. Stimulative feeding is going to be different than fall feeding. A miller feeder might clog up a brood nest where a quart jar with some holes punched in the lid won't as quick(I don't think so, at least!). I think it is important with non-autumn feeding to make sure you know what is going on inside, brood nest condition, hive condition, stores conditions, etc. And stop feeding when they get to where you want them to be.
For a larger or more experienced beekeeper it is easier to let a hive go or to move it to better forage, but for a small hobbiest with a few in the back yard, that isn't an option. I had 2 hives this spring that had dwindled to less than 2 frames each back which I baby'ed back to health with the help of new queens and feeding, and they generated both a surplus of honey and a split (one of the queens was too hot). If I had had more than a few hives I'd have just let them go and done a split from different hives.