I found this really interesting article about the effects of feeding bees during the winter months.
These results are very surprising. They are counter to my intuition. But until something strongly suggests otherwise, I must rethink my feeding practices. When I find honey left behind by a dead colony, I may harvest that honey for human consumption, but I will no longer pass that honey on to another colony. And when I find a struggling colony that I think I need to feed, then I might consider some candy, but I definitely will not be stealing honey frames from another colony to help them out.
Up to now, I thought I was helping my colonies when I provided supplemental carbohydrates. In fact, I have jars of syrup on several newly installed packages right now (5/12/2014). But these results will definitely change my practices where honey is concerned and may change my practices where syrup is concerned as well. Why would I want to go to all that extra work to end up hurting my colonies?