How do Bees Store Sugar Syrup?
When bees store sugar syrup in the Fall for winter is that capped or does it just appear as white in the cells?
When you feed bees sugar syrup, from the perspective of the bees it's just like a nectar flow coming in. If more is coming in than they require for current needs, they treat it just as they would an abundance of nectar.
That means that the bees will store the syrup in the cells and ripen it (reduce the moisture content to thicken it). Then when a cell is full of ripened sugar syrup, they'll cap the cell, just as they would for honey.
When we feed sugar syrup to the bees in the fall, we are generally feeding them more than they currently need, since we're trying to give them enough to last the winter. So in that situation, you can expect to see combs of capped sugar syrup.
When we feed sugar syrup in the spring, as for a newly established colony, the goal is to simply provide enough to meet the bees' current needs until they are able to forage enough nectar from springtime blossoms. So for springtime feeding, we are less likely to see combs of capped sugar syrup.
For those that may be wondering -- yes, you could feed lots of sugar syrup to the bees and harvest the capped syrup just like honey.
And unfortunately, with the cost of sugar generally being less than the cost of honey, here have been occurrences of honey producers feeding sugar to their bees to produce a 'fake' honey crop which they sell to unsuspecting buyers.
A rare occurrence, but it does happen.