Thanks. I'm kind of leaning that direction too. When I dissolved it in water, it is definately more brown than the white refined stuff. I think they are basically repurposing brown sugar in crystal form here, and it's really just brown sugar. All posts I've read lead me to believe that one should avoid brown sugar due to the number of impurities and such!
"Only white sugar should be used to make syrup in the fall, to reduce the amount of indigestable parts of the feed. Raw or brown sugar ["golden" ??] should never be used unless absolutely necessary, because the bees will have to make numerous cleansing flights in order to void the indigestable waste." >> Ross Conrad: "Natural Beekeeping" [organic approaches to modern apiculture].
I have no experience with anything except white sugar because all of the readings say not to use anything else.
I believe it's not a matter of "impurities" as much as a matter of "components". The brown and golden color of lesser refined sugars comes from molasses, a by product of the refining process. This is indigestible to bees, but not to humans.
I hesitate to use the term "impurities" because it is often used inappropriatley. For instance: My Granmama (and likely yours) used to boil veggies to death to "get rid of the impurities". Of course, that also included vitamins and nutrients.
Cattle, deer, sheep, and other ruminants extract far more nutrients from their feed than other animals. They have mulitple stomachs and very efficient digestive systems. Humans process this sort of stuff as "bulk" fiber, and pass it through quickly.
In short, it has more to do with digestion and extraction than purification.
And it means more molasses for my oatmeal and gingersnaps! Yum!
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