From George Imirie:
WHAT MAKES THE BEST FEED?
Just about anything sweet has been tried by bee- keepers over many years, and here are the names of some: honey, table sugar (sucrose) syrup, hi-fructose corn syrup, coke syrup, molasses, pancake syrup, candy, and just plain dry sugar. With the exception of table sugar syrup, all of the other items mentioned above, have some problem that may not make them desirable feed for honey bees. Honey may contain bacteria or disease pathogens (and probably does if it came from a commercial packer), hi-fructose corn syrup is made by chemically converting potato starch into glucose followed by converting glucose into fructose, and coke syrup, molasses. pancake syrup, and candy all contain some ingredients that provide the taste characteristic to the product. All of these products except plain sugar syrup contain components such as starches or sugars other than sucrose that may present problems for bees, notably dysentery. Plain table sugar is SUCROSE, just as in nectar, and is totally digestible by the bee which converts the sucrose into the two simple sugars of fructose and glucose, which are the sugars contained in honey. When 1 pound of sugar is dissolved in 1 pound of water (same as 1 pint), that is referred to as 1:1 sugar syrup, and is considered artificial nectar by the bees which stimulates brood rearing. When 2 pounds of sugar is dissolved in 1 pound of water, that is referred to as 2:1 sugar syrup, and is quite similar to honey and is used for winter storage rather than nursery feed. Even though you might save money by purchasing hi-fructose corn syrup, coke syrup, or be given candy refuse or other sweet products, there is little question that table sugar syrup is the safest food you can give to bees and hence table sugar makes the BEST FEED!