As farmers, for choice of a generic term for we as beekeepers clearly practice insect husbandry, feeding your bees at times to ensure that they have sufficient food reserves to get them through winter or for that matter out of winter when they are rapidly wishing to draw wax foundation is part of what we do as beekeepers as I see it to improve the health & wellbeing of the livestock in our care, nothing more, nothing less.
This is clearly significantly different to what occurs on a commercial scale where corn syrup and the like is feed in bulk to overwintering bees in the US and elsewhere around the globe to keep them alive during winter.
I cannot imagine anyone in this neck of the woods intentionally trying to pass sugar syrup off as honey but I could see someone new to beekeeping getting caught up in a mess where they cannot distinguish between what is the sugar syrup is that their bees have stored that is now laying along side of nectar from trees that the bees have foraged and could now be extracted to be a blend of both.
That said again I can only see this occurring in this country as un unintentional event to a new beekeeper aware of how to identify the difference/s.
There is now shame in feeding your bees, far from it, but the more I learn about bees the more I learn that the confusing issue here is typically with the beekeeper and not the bees as such as to what should be fed and why.
I will post a bee feeding post in the coming days on this which I hope will help further clarify how, when and what to feed your bees to maintain a successful hive before and through a Canberra winter.