T Beek - I know you are right. My gut feeling has always been that one should not be feeding bees sugar if there's any other alternative. But it has been such common practice that I accept it. If I can get my husband to suit up with me and do what you suggest, I will absolutely feel better about what I'm doing. Thanks for the wake-up call. I don't really care if I get honey or not this season - I'm not in it for commercial reasons. I will' of course, supplement them with syrup if I have to, but first I'll let them have their own honey.