A lot of sugar water is in my honey. Should I throw it away or refeed it back to the hive?

Q. Hello, this is my first year at beekeeping. I read Beekeeping for Dummies and have researched a lot of websites to get the knowledge needed to raise a healthy hive. I received a package of Italian bees on April 20th. I fed them 1:1 ratio of sugar water every day for this is the information I was seeing in my searches. I put my first super on in the middle of June because the bees were doing so well. I only found out a week after I put my super on that I need to quit feeding them sugar water for that is what I will get as honey. I pulled four full frames of capped honey and extracted it today. It seems that a lot of sugar water is in the honey. Should I throw it away or refeed it back to the hive to prepare for winter? I live in Pittsburgh, PA. I also split the hive because they were doing so well. —Dave E.

A: This is a classic “ask three beekeepers, get at least three different answers” issue. Salute on having such an amazing hive, and now two of them assuming your split is doing well! I think I’d feed it back to the hive, or put it in an open feed situation, where you’d open the caps in a location several yards away from the hive to minimize the chance of raiding, and would allow any interested insect to feast. 

Readers, other thoughts?

—Camilla, Editor

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